Nicole Dellolio – Staff Writer –
Merrill Cotrina, a junior nursing student at SCSU, said students and professors constantly ignore the signs posted all over campus that say “no smoking.”
“Nobody wants to come out of the building and have smoke blowing in your face,” said Cotrina.
According to Southern’s student handbook, “to promote a healthy working and education environment, Southern Connecticut State University’s smoking policy prohibits smoking within 25 feet of all University building entrances, exits, and open windows.”
“Nobody ever pays attention to them,” said Cotrina. “They’re supposed to be a certain distance away from the building but they do it anyways.”
Cotrina said smoking can only lead to a bad disease—cancer.
Cotrina said secondhand smoke is one of the main reasons that people get cancer and she just wants to reduce the risk for herself and others. Cotrina said she sees people on campus leaning up against the buildings smoking at all times of the day, completely ignoring the signs.
Cotrina said she is a part of Colleges Against Cancer to try to get people to follow the rules on campus so everybody can remain safe and healthy. Colleges Against Cancer hangs flyers all over campus stating Southern’s regulations regarding smoking on campus for students and faculty members, said Cotrina.
Steven Besonon, a junior business student at SCSU, said he started smoking at the age of 14, which means that he has been an avid smoker for the past 10 years. Besonon said he tried to quit the bad habit for a while, but the stress in his life while in college made it impossible to stop.
“I try not to blow smoke in peoples faces,” said Besonon. “I don’t like when people do it to me, so I try my hardest not to do it to anybody else at school or anywhere in public.”
Besonon said he believes students and faculty should be able to smoke anywhere they want on campus as long as they are outside of the buildings. Besonon said he would be enraged if he wasn’t able to smoke on campus because it would disrupt his studies and classes.
“It’s infringing people’s rights and their own prerogative,” said Besonon.
According to the College Tobacco Prevention Resource, a website that focuses on tobacco trends, 30 percent of college students are currently tobacco users. Almost 40 percent of college students began smoking or became regular smokers after beginning college, according to the TTAC.
All over the nation, 24 percent of adults identify as social smokers who only smoke while they are hanging out with friends or partying, according to the TTAC.
Adrianna Petmore, an undecided sophomore student at SCSU, said she is against smoking because her mom has been a smoker since she was 12 years old. Petmore said she has asthma so it is very difficult for her to be around people that smoke, which makes it hard when walking around campus.
Petmore said growing up in a household that involved people smoking has made her against it because it is so unhealthy and life threatening.
“It’s the first thing you smell when you walk out of most of the buildings,” said Petmore. “Teachers and other faculty members even stand by the doors of the buildings and let the smoke blow into the building.”