Smoking Affecting Health At YSU

By Courtney Hibler

The current smoking policy at Youngstown State University states all smoking is prohibited on campus, but some students have noticed some smokers don’t follow this policy.

No-smoking parameters include all university-owned or leased buildings and vehicles, outdoor areas where smoke may enter the building through an entrance, all residence halls, any outdoor patio that is not separated from a building, all outdoor events, the fountain outside of Kilcawley Center and all outdoor areas posted as nonsmoking.

Ashley Rom, a senior forensic science major, said she is highly allergic to cigarette smoke and when she inhales the secondhand smoke, her throat becomes extremely sore and she develops a congested nose.

“It affects the way that I breathe,” she said. “I have told some people to stop smoking in buildings or to go to another area and smoke, and while some respect that, most people just look at you like you’re crazy.”

Emily Dawes, a sophomore history major, said the people who smoke in nonsmoking areas are selfish because secondhand smoke is detrimental to people’s health and has a negative effect on those with asthma.

“If we can avoid any health risks for YSU students, we should,” she said. “No one’s health should be at risk, especially those with asthma.”

In Dawes’ opinion, designated smoking areas should be placed around campus to help people with health risks and to lessen the littering of cigarette butts.

Photo by Tanner Mondok/The Jambar

“YSU staff should not have to unnecessarily clean up after students,” she said. “If there were designated smoking areas, this may help lessen the litter.”

John Hyden, assistant vice president of facilities maintenance, said the littering of cigarette butts is a large problem around campus.

“It creates an unsightly condition and requires additional work by our grounds staff to clean up,” he said. “It’s a significant issue.”

Crystal Carroll, a freshman psychology major, said she tries to smoke in secluded areas and hopes YSU will soon have designated smoking areas.

“These areas would help us have a set place to smoke and to avoid those who may be affected by it,” she said.

Still, with outdoor areas having a “No Smoking” sign, this has not stopped some students from committing the act in the general area outside and indoors.

Dawes said she was in a crowded elevator in Cushwa Hall when a student decided to start vaping.

“I was absolutely astounded by her lack of awareness,” she said. “I believe a lot of college students have an attitude where they don’t care and common courtesy is forgotten.”

Those who violate the no-smoking policy will be issued a warning, which could result in employee or student discipline and possible fine up to $100 if reported to the Department of Health.

Hyden supports a smoke-free campus and said the YSU community can help deter smoking on campus.

“The university periodically offers smoking cessation programs to the university community,” he said. “This is just one of many ways.”

Complaints should be brought to the attention of the vice president of finance and administration.

“Not everyone wants to be breathing in cigarette smoke or going to class smelling like smoke,” Rom said. “Some students on campus are quite rude and have no consideration for others.”