The Smoking Ban at Kent State Could Be a Policy Instead

Director Wycoff is sitting in her office, ready to spread the word about the upcoming smoking policy.

Kent, Oh- Kent State University plans to clear the air by implementing a smoking ban on July 1.

Carla Wycoff, 58, is the Director of Communications and Special Projects at Kent State University. Wycoff is the co-chair of the implementation committee alongside Kim Hauge, Director of Employee Wellness.

“I came into this after it was passed by our board of trustees in May of last year,” Wykoff said. “They purposely gave a year implementation because we knew this was such a change in culture for everyone.”

Smoking will be prohibited from any Kent State campus. This includes properties that are owned, operated or leased by Kent State. Furthermore, students, visitors and faculty are prohibited from smoking on or near the campus.

The policy states that anything that “creates a vapor” is prohibited including e-cigarettes and mod boxes, which are electronic cigarette devices that contain an internal or external battery.

During the early stages of the ban, Kent State will rely on “voluntary compliance” and communication. Repeated offenders can be sent to student conduct an handled accordingly.

One of the university initiatives at Kent State is promote a healthy campus by joining the other 15 smoke-free universities in Ohio.

Johnson is sitting on a bench 20 feet away from the Kent State library.

Carly Johnson, 21, is a sophomore at Kent State majoring in American Sign Language. Johnson has been a smoker since high school and picked up the habit from family and friends.

Johnson said her father was a smoker for over 30 years and quit after her grandmother passed away form lung cancer.

Johnson said that if the policy is successful then she quit smoking for good.

“I feel like the ban will make it harder to find a place to smoke since I live campus,” Johnson said. “This will stress me out more and make me want to smoke.”

Even though Johnson does not agree with the ban she will comply with the policy because she “fears the consequences” of not doing so.

Faro is all about making the campus a smoke-free environment so that everyone can breath fresh, clean air.

Kimberly Faro, 20, is a sophomore at Kent State majoring in marketing. Johnson has never smoked and doesn’t plan on it.

“For some of the smokers I think it’ll help them quit, other people it may alleviate how often they smoke,” Faro said.

Faro has witnessed people smoking in the dorms as well as outside of them. She hopes the ban will put an end to that.

“I believe that people who break the rules should be punished,” she said.

Make no mistake about it, this new policy is a smoking ban that will be implemented and enforced come July.

Smokers who are ready to “kick the habit” have access to tobacco cessation resources provided by the university.