By Dan Genaro
The smoking policy at Youngstown State University was initiated to limit smoking on campus to improve health conditions and concerns for the whole university, but the enforcement of the policy is not consistent.
According to the smoke and tobacco free environment policy, “All employees and students share in the responsibility for adhering to and enforcing this policy.”
Smoking is allowed only in outdoor areas at least 50 feet away from the entrance, overhang, windows, vents, loading dock or other openings to a building or other structure, provided that smoke does not inadvertently enter the building.
Ron Cole, public information officer at YSU, said the policy is not meant to eliminate smoking from the campus altogether. Its purpose is to give smokers an area to use so others at the university are not inconvenienced by wafts of smoke floating through the air.
“While the policy does not completely prohibit smoking on campus, it significantly limits places where smoking is allowed,” Cole said. “The policy is in line with state law and we believe it represents a practical, enforceable set of restrictions that help provide a healthier living and learning environment on campus for everyone.”
Junior mechanical engineering major, Johnny Dejacimo, smokes on campus and said he has never seen the smoking policy enforced.
“I typically smoke anywhere,” Dejacimo said. “They don’t enforce it at all, so I’ve done it in front of the doors and I’ve done it in front of professors, but they don’t care.”
Freshman criminal justice major, Cross Scarpaci, said he vapes when he is on campus and sees others smoking as well, with no sign of honoring the smoking policy.
“Not too long ago, I saw a dude walking around with a cigarette in his hand,” Scarpaci said. “The smoking policy is obviously not really enforced.”
Tiffany Gaydosh, a sophomore biology major, said the university needs to do a better job enforcing the policy.
“Something I hate is when I’m walking behind someone and the smoke is trailing in my face,” Gaydosh said. “If the policy was enforced, then me or the other students wouldn’t have to deal with it.”
Gaydosh said the change of weather makes smoking around campus worse as well.
“As it gets cold, the thick smoke lingers more and makes everyone cough, especially when those who smoke do so wherever they want,” Gaydosh said.
Kenny Dubaj, a sophomore nursing major, said he does not mind smokers, but the smoke around campus is bothersome.
“I walk out of class and kids are already smoking right outside the door and it all blows in my face,” Dubaj said. “I don’t mind smokers, but I don’t want to go through my whole school day with it blowing in my face and smelling like smoke.”
Freshman Ryan Lee, a marketing major at YSU, said he sees many students smoking all around campus but primarily at Maag Library.
“I didn’t even know there was a smoking policy,” Lee said. “There must never be anyone enforcing it because everyone smokes on campus.”