MSU vote on tobacco ban draws mixed opinion

MSU President Waded Cruzado says she will be looking for input from university employees before deciding on a campus wide ban on tobacco. This follows an opinion poll conducted last week showing 61 percent of students in favor of a ban with 39 percent against. Yet, only 20 percent of the student body participated in the vote.

We wanted to find some campus opinions of our own. Spring break is not an ideal time for this, but it’s not totally deserted.

Saudi Arabian student Nawf Karkar was relieving some stress outside the library with a cigarette. Current rules state she cannot smoke within 25 feet of a building.

“Exactly, exactly, isn’t this enough for not bothering people with my smoke?” she asked.

“The current policy doesn’t really work at all,” countered senior Joey Steffens who is spending his spring break in the lab. He said he plans on med school after graduation and fully supports the tobacco ban.

“I really value health and people’s right to a clean, healthful environment,” he said, adding a lot of smokers on campus do not follow that 25 foot rule.

Steffens is also a ASMSU senator, so despite his personal feelings, as a representative of the student government, he figured having students vote would be the best approach. The ban passed.

“Pretty overwhelmingly that’s what they want,” Steffens said.

“I absolutely regret not voting,” said freshman smoker Christian Bassett, “You know, I live in North Hedges and that’s pretty far from anywhere that’s off campus.”

Neither Bassett nor Karkar voted in the poll. Karkar said she’s didn’t know about it. Bassett said he thought only student senators like Steffens could vote. Bassett said the ban is ridiculous, trying to teach him a lesson he does not need to learn.

“I don’t think people are that stupid,” Bassett said. “We know that it’s not great for us, we know it’s damaging our lungs but we choose to do it anyway.”

It’s a choice he says he’ll still make, on campus, even if a ban is implemented.


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