The USF Tampa campus officially implemented a new smoking policy that restricts smokers to designated areas on March 20. While this isn’t as restrictive as the widely rumored campus-wide ban, smokers are still adjusting to the new policy.
Carol-Anne Horesky, a junior majoring in elementary education who transferred to USF this semester, is getting acclimated to USF’s large campus and designated smoking areas.
“(The smoking policy) is kind of annoying because I don’t really know where the locations are,” Horesky explains.
The only thing specifying each of the 25 locations is a single green sign that can be easily overlooked.
“The problem with the designated spots…, at least the ones I have seen, is that they are small spaces with little to no seating for those that are being forced to go there,” said Kyle Klassen, a junior computer science engineer major. “I feel like if they actually enforced the ‘x amount of feet from the entrance to buildings’ rule rather than forced people to be in the areas they reserved, it would be more effective.”
This new policy has been in the works for a while, beginning with the smoking ban at Moffitt and the USF Health campus. Breath Easy zones were never officially created, but signs posted near the entrances of major buildings banned smoking. A campus-wide restriction was expected.
According to the official USF website, the new policy hopes to minimize the health risks of second hand smoke and restrict waste from smoking products to certain areas for an overall cleaner, nicer-looking campus.
“I understand why (smoking would be banned) in front of the library or in front of Cooper, because people were grouped together,” said Horesky. “The only thing that really bothers me is the dorms. There used to be a table right out front but now I have to walk all the way around the building (to smoke).”
According to the new policy, the ban “includes, but is not limited to, cigars, cigarettes, cigarillos, pipes, bidis, and hookahs,” and those students who refuse to comply may be disciplined under the Student Code of Conduct.
Faculty and staff members are not exempt from this ban, and any continuous disregard to the new policy will be handled through university processes.
“Even though they have established those smoking areas, I still see people smoking wherever they want to, so it hasn’t really done much anyway,” said Klassen.
The only exception to the smoking ban is the The Claw at USF golf course.
To help enforce the new policy and lead students into a healthier lifestyle, USF is offering free cessation classes that will begin April 5. The classes are open to students, faculty member and their families, but people must register before March 30.