KSC students prove unaware but indifferent with campus smoking policy

Morgan Markley

Equinox Staff


The new tobacco policy at Keene State College will require a small change in location, but tobacco users could soon will be looking for a new place to smoke.

This fall, smokers and tobacco users must now move 25 feet from the perimeter of a campus facility instead of the previous 20 feet, which has been in effect since 2007.

Paul Striffolino, assistant vice-president of Student Affairs, said, “The difference between 20 and 25 feet isn’t that much,” and he continued and said that some people who smoke on campus might not know what the length of 25 feet is. According to Striffolino, this new policy was put into effect because of rules that must be in place for the campus buildings.

[singlepic id=1209 w=320 h=240 float=right]

Matthew Cecchetelli, a KSC student, said that the new rule won’t affect his smoking habits. He said, “I really didn’t know about that (new policy) to be honest, but now I do so I will follow it.”

Katelyn Williams, student body president, commented on the change in smoking policy and said, “It’s changed but it’s not changed–do you know what I mean? It’s changed but it’s not enforced yet, it’s not even out to the public yet.”

While this change on campus is small, it is the start of a possible bigger change that could affect smokers and non-smokers more. Williams is working on modifying the tobacco policy. Williams said, “We would like to change the smoking policy, which hasn’t been changed since 2007. We did do a survey back last spring where we found a majority of the students feel as though they are affected by smoking on campus in that they don’t want it to affect their air but at the same time they don’t want to tell people they can’t smoke.”

Williams continued, “Hopefully we’re talking about maybe November we will start enforcing this policy in some way, but my thing is if we’re going to change the policy why not change it and make it better.”

Williams said her plan would provide designated smoking areas for people to use their tobacco products.

Such areas for tobacco users wouldn’t take away the luxury of sitting on a bench and enjoying a cigarette or tobacco product; rather, Williams aims to create an area that is covered and offers places to sit, without it affecting other people around them.

A survey conducted last spring by former student body president Colin Daly and Williams showed that 70 percent of KSC students would like their air to not contain smoke.

Tiffany Mathews, coordinator of wellness education, said about the student survey whether to make KSC a tobacco free campus, “Based on those results we realized people do want to have the ability to avoid tobacco areas, so they want to be able to breathe in a clean area basically but they don’t want to make it completely tobacco free because it sounded as though from the survey we also don’t want to infringe upon the tobacco users rights.”

If KSC does become a campus with a strict tobacco policy they will not be alone.

According to the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, the University of Maine became a tobacco-free campus in 2011, and Queens College in New York also joined the bandwagon becoming a tobacco-free campus in early January this year. Even though more campuses are becoming tobacco free, KSC will continue to work on finding a policy that works well within the community. Williams said, “I would like this to be a gradual step and a gradual process, and what I mean by that is I would like maybe this January to have areas where people can enjoy their smoking with the current policy in place but providing them with areas in which they can do that, and then maybe next fall have designated areas over campus.” Georgia Carter, a KSC student, said she won’t mind designated areas to smoke, “I think it’s a good thing. I think we should be respectful of everyone.”

Mathews commented, “We’re trying to increase the number of tobacco-free areas on campus to get people that right to breathe clean air. At the same time we are hoping that tobacco usage will decrease, and how we are hoping to decrease it is by educating people on the resources we have available.”  Mathews also said it is hard to get a message out to the entire campus, but that the Center for Health and Wellness provides free nicotine replacement therapy to students.

KSC’s focus right now is on trying to make the campus a healthy and enjoyable place to be for all members of the community.



Morgan Markley can be contacted at    


Share and Enjoy !