Campus tobacco ban survey shows students mixed on new policy
After six months of implementing its tobacco-free policy, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette conducted a survey with mixed reviews from students.
Of the 1700 students and faculty members who participated, 39 percent said the policy has been very effective in reducing secondhand smoke on campus, 41 percent said the policy is somewhat effective and 20 percent said the policy is ineffective.
“It’s promising that second-hand smoke has been practically removed from campus since this policy went into effect and that some people are quitting tobacco,” said Joey Pons, associate director of Public Safety at UL Lafayette.
Forty-four survey respondents said they quit smoking cigarettes in 2014.
“It’s hard to determine whether people quit directly or indirectly as a result of the policy,” said Pons.
Pons said the working group decided the survey indicates that policy revisions are not needed.
“We received feedback asking for more enforcement,” he said. “To improve compliance, we updated campus maps to better indicate the tobacco-free zones and we will add more signs on campus.”
The university tobacco-free working group also monitored other schools’ data: According to the The American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, as of October 2014, at least 1,014 U.S. universities were tobacco-free.
The working group proposed the campus policy last summer after comments from students, faculty members and staff and reviewing the smoking policies of other universities. The university had been required to establish a policy by Aug. 1, 2014, to conform to state law.
“We appreciate everyone’s support to comply with the policy and continue to encourage politeness when asking those who aren’t complying to do so,” said Pons.