Student opinions mixed on tobacco free WMU campus

Posted at 7:55 PM, Aug 31, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-31 22:24:45-04

KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- After more than a year of planning, come tomorrow the campus of Western Michigan University will be tobacco free.

WMU approved the ban last December and will become one of nearly 1,400 college campuses national wide with similar rules in place.

"I've heard just a little bit, but I'm pretty excited for the ban because I'm not a smoker myself, and it gives me headaches and it's just not good and kind of grosses me out a little," said sophomore Gabrielle Croze.

Other students said that they are skeptical how well the new tobacco free campus policy will be enforced.

"Honestly, I feel like at first no one is going to smoke anything, but then they are going to realize that it is not going to be enforced at all and people are going to just keep smoking. Literally, it's probably just to make the school look better," said freshman Matt Plizzard.

The university conducted several surveys over the past year, before voting last December to put the ban in place come September 1st, 2014.

Coraleen Wilson said that as a first year student with her own medical condition, she’s relieved she won’t have to deal with second hand smoke while walking to and from class.

"I think it's a good thing because I don't really like smoke and I have asthma, so I don't like smoke around me," said Wilson.

Under the university’s new tobacco free policy, e- cigarettes are also banned because the school said that the medical affects of the device are still unknown.

Joseph Green-McCain said that the tobacco ban will be a big change for students who are used to walking just feet from their dorm to light up.

"One thing I have noticed as far as like the freshman dorms, you know smokers island. That's basically where you leave out the dorm and you go and it's right in front of the building. Basically that's where a lot of people I know will go and have a smoke break," said Green-McCain, student.

Green-McCain also said that as a non-smoker himself, he’s in support of the tobacco ban, but said that college students are adults who will ultimately make their own lifestyle decisions.

WMU’s tobacco free policy also applies to any sporting or tailgating events on campus.

Other schools in the area that are also tobacco free include Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Grand Rapids Community College.