Smoking on Campus Could be Snuffed Out

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -- Putting a stop to smoking on campus is the goal of the Student Government Association wants to ban smoking on campus.  The reason they want to do this is to promote health on campus.

Currently you can't smoke in any university building or vehicle and you're not supposed to smoke within twenty feet of any doorway.

"That policy is extremely hard to enforce with the twenty feet rule because the cigarette posts where they put their butts are within five feet of the door," said SGA Public Relations Director Kyle Fulton.

Fulton said they want to eliminate these cigarette posts from campus all together, something the smokers aren't too happy about.

"This is an open area.  It's just like saying you can't smoke in a field.  What's next, they're going to say we can't smoke in our car or in our house?  Where's the limit?," said Zach Elledge.

Elledge and his friends say smoking is their privilege and they don't want to see it snuffed out.

"To me it feels like an infringement on my rights because I have a right to smoke this is an open area," said Elledge.

The smokers say there are other solutions.

"We need more designated areas further away from the main trafficking sidewalks here on campus so it doesn't bother all the non-smokers," said Nick Evans.

Right now this legislation is still in the discussion stages, after that it has to make it through the student senate and then go to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and other committees.

Part of the proposed legislation requires the university to offer a smoking cessation program.  If it passes they also will do a six month period to get students used to the new policy.  The next SGA meeting is on February 17th where this issue is sure to be the center of more discussion.