Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land to go smoke-free

All to­bacco, e-cig­a­rette use banned from cam­puses start­ing Jan. 1

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU jan­fen­son-comeau@somd­news.com

The Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land will soon join more than 1,700 col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties across the coun­try in ban­ning to­bacco and nico­tine prod- ucts from its cam­pus.

CSM an­nounced last week that as of Jan. 1, 2017, all cam­puses will go smoke-free. The pol- icy will ap­ply to all those en­ter­ing onto CSM prop- er­ties, in­clud­ing stu­dents, fac­ulty, staff, vol­un­teers, con­trac­tors, vis­i­tors and others. All events hosted by CSM or by out­side groups on CSM cam­puses will be to­bacco-free as well.

The ban in­cludes all CSM prop­er­ties, in­clud­ing build­ings and fa­cil­i­ties, out­door ar­eas, ath­letic fields, park­ing lots and ve­hi­cles parked or trav­el­ing on cam­pus, and will be ap­pli­ca­ble 24 hours a day, seven days a week, ac­cord­ing to school of­fi­cials.

The ban cov­ers the use of all to­bacco prod­ucts, in­clud­ing cig­a­rettes, ci­gars, smoke­less to­bacco, elec­tronic smok­ing de­vices and any un­reg­u­lated nico­tine prod­uct, ac­cord­ing to school of­fi­cials.

Ac­cord­ing to the Amer­i­can Non­smok­ers Rights

Foun­da­tion, as of Oct. 1, 1,713 col­leges and uni- ver­si­ties in the U.S. had 100 per­cent smoke free poli­cies. Of those, 1,427 are also to­bacco free and 1,288 also pro­hibit elec- tronic cig­a­rettes.

CSM Pres­i­dent Bradley Got­tfried said the school has been con­sid­er­ing go­ing smoke free and to­bac- co free for some time, and de­cided now was the time to make the move.

“I think a big part of the col­lege has al­ways been en­gaged in well­ness for our stu­dents and em­ploy- ees,” Got­tfried said. “What we’re em­bark­ing on is a more com­pre­hen­sive pol- icy that will move the nee­dle for­ward in help­ing our stu­dents and em­ploy­ees to be more health­ful.”

To as­sist those in­ter- ested in kicking the habit, CSM will be provid- ing smok­ing-ces­sa­tion re­sources and coun­sel­ing avail­able on all cam­puses, and is work­ing to bring ces­sa­tion classes to each cam­pus.

The col­lege will also place “quit kits” around each of its cam­puses. All ash urns will be re­moved from the col­lege’s gaze- bos and re­placed with signs to in­di­cate CSM is a smoke-, to­bacco- and vape-free cam­pus.

Got­tfried said that af­ter Jan. 1, public safety of­fi­cers will speak with any- one they see smok­ing or using to­bacco prod­ucts any­where on cam­pus and in­form them of the new pol­icy.

“How­ever, we’re not ex­pect­ing their pri­mary re­spon­si­bil­ity will be as smok­ing cops,” Got­tfried said.

CSM stu­dent Michael Mueller said he takes classes at both the Leon- ard­town and La Plata cam- puses and he didn’t think the pol­icy change would be ef­fec­tive.

“I think this is go­ing to af­fect the La Plata cam­pus more than Leonard­town,” Mueller said. “It’ll be stress­ful for stu­dents who smoke dur­ing midterms and fi­nals be­cause they stress out dur­ing test tak­ing time. They can’t tell me that I can’t smoke in my car.”

Prospec­tive CSM Leonard­town stu­dent Jar­rett John­son said he didn’t think the pol­icy was a good idea.

“The gazebo is a Pokestop,” John­son said, re­fer­ring to real-world lo­ca­tions used in the game “Poke­mon Go.” “They have the cig­a­rette con­tainer strapped to the floor of the gazebo. This is the only spot on cam­pus you can smoke.”

CSM La Plata stu­dent Ciara Levins said that over­all, she un­der­stands why the school is putting the pol­icy in ef­fect, but thinks it goes too far in ban­ning e-cig­a­rettes.

“I can un­der­stand why they want the no smok- ing pol­icy as far as to­bac- co, but it kind of con­fused me as far as the va­por­iz­ing sit­u­a­tion, be­cause I’ve been try­ing to use it to quit,” Levins said. “I un­der­stand want­ing to breathe clean air, but the e-cig­a­rettes don’t af­fect by­s­tanders, they only af- fect you if you’re in­hal­ing it di­rectly.

“I can’t re­ally be mad at it,” Levins added. “Most col­leges you go to nowa- days, they don’t even al­low vis­i­tors to come onto cam­pus with cig­a­rettes, or if they do, it’s in a des­ig­nated area away from every­one else. It sucks, but peo­ple have a right to breathe the way they want to breathe. It’s a ba­sic hu­man right, to breathe.”

Brit­tany Green, a sopho­more at the CSM Prince Fred­er­ick cam­pus, said she is in fa­vor of the ban.

“Hav­ing a smoke-free cam­pus is a great idea. Sec­ond­hand smoke can be so dan­ger­ous and [few] peo­ple know just how dan­ger­ous it can be,” Green said.

Ti­mothy Wil­lis, a freshman at the Prince Fred­er­ick cam­pus, de­scribed the pol­icy as an in­con­ve­nience.

“It re­ally doesn’t mat­ter to me one way or an­other, but it would be nice to be able to just light up my cig­a­rette when I get out of class. Guess I’ll just have to wait,” Wil­lis said.

Got­tfried said he un­der­stands the pol­icy may neg­a­tively im­pact en­roll­ment and ren­tal of school fa­cil­i­ties.

“There is a good chance com­pa­nies may take their busi­ness else­where, and some stu­dents may not come here,” Got­tfried said. “If we lose some busi­ness, if we lose some stu­dents, so be it. It is past time for us to do the right thing.”

For more in­for­ma­tion on the pol­icy and re­sources, go to www.csmd.edu/ breathe­clean.

STAFF PHOTO BY JAC­QUI ATKIEL­SKI

Michael Mueller, col­lege stu­dent, sits in the gazebo where smok­ing is cur­rently per­mit­ted at the Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land, Leonard­town cam­pus. The col­lege plans to ban smok­ing on all of its cam­puses start­ing in 2017.

STAFF PHOTO BY JAC­QUI ATKIEL­SKI

Jar­ret John­son, a prospec­tive col­lege stu­dent, plays Poke­mon Go on his phone while light­ing up a cig­a­rette at the Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land, Leonard­town cam­pus.

STAFF PHOTO BY JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU

Cig­a­rette re­cep­ta­cles such as this one in a gazebo on the Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land La Plata cam­pus, will soon be re­placed with no­tices that CSM is a smoke-, to­bacco- and vape-free cam­pus, when the pol­icy goes into ef­fect Jan. 1.

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