Students who smoke in large crowds aren’t violating campus policy, but they are being discourteous to those around them. Andrea Lindgren/UVU Review

Walking down the hallway, students don’t need to deal with someone blowing cigarette smoke in their direction.
But outside, campus policies unfortunately cannot enforce common courtesy.

Most students used to walk through the halls of the Liberal Arts building and the Physical Education building to get from class to class or to get to the student center.

Now with the construction, it is a very nice change to take a trip outside, walking in the fall air, instead of inside walking down what feels like the longest hallway ever.

As students take this detour, there is one distinct situation that they must deal with outside that they do not have to deal with inside: cigarette smoke.

Smokers often do not take into consideration the other students that are walking around them to their next class.

Some of these students have their children with them. “It really bothers me that when I bring my daughter with me to take care of school business that smokers do not take the time to walk an additional 25 feet away to smoke,” said one student named Michael.

Michael is not the only student who is dealing with this same issue. Many students have been vocal in their requests to have smokers move away from them while they are smoking in between classes.

One student with asthma was overheard yelling at a student who was smoking. This student refused to comment.

“Smoking makes me sick. It also upsets me when I see other students smoking and blow their smoke directly in the path of other students,” Chris Collins said. “Smokers seem to lack a common courtesy of others.”

UVU’s current policy on smoking, Policy 158, states that smoking must take place 25 feet away from any entrance, window or air intake unit. Smoking is also prohibited in partially enclosed areas (such as covered walkways, walkways between sections of buildings, courtyards and bus stop shelters) and exterior stairways and landings.

Policy 158 also states any student found in violation of this policy can be reported to campus police. First time offenders will be given a warning and additional offenses will then be referred for disciplinary action through the director of judicial affairs.
Disciplinary action can include, but is not limited to, fines, suspensions or expulsion from school.

Smoking outside will remain an issue as long as the construction is taking place on campus. If one student believes another student is violating UVU policy, that student can file a report with campus police.

Since our policies don’t dictate how students can protect themselves from secondhand smoke, the main question is, what can students do to protect their health? At the moment, students will have to hope that smokers will have some common courtesy to step away from the mass of people they are walking with to have a smoke.

Students aren’t asking for much, just that smokers’ lack of common courtesy will stop.