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Letters from the Editors

Reconsider Smoking Policy

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Non-smokers often know the feeling of walking into Robert Frost through a cloud of smoke. This is particularly noticeable by Robert Frost, where it appears students are always standing close to the door, smoking a cigarette.  

SNHU’s smoking policy located in the Student Handbook states that “smoking is prohibited within 25 feet from any University building entrance and on all athletic-related venues. Work areas are defined as any enclosed location, permanent or temporary, where faculty, staff, and students perform work-related duty in the course of their employment. Public areas are defined as conference rooms, dining hall, hallways, the Student Center, and bathrooms” (p. 29-30).  

Some students may think that this 25 feet policy is not being held; however, it also seems that 25 feet is a difficult distance to picture. The distances between main academic and public building entrances and ashtrays are as follows:  

The Robert Frost side A has an ashtray approximately 32 feet from the entrance. The front entrance of the Student Center’s ashtray is approximately 36 feet, and the back entrance is 30 feet.  

Despite the policy being abided by, cigarette smoke will still cloud entrances, especially during the particularly windy winter visiting N.H. once again. Entering or exiting buildings can be uncomfortable and even detrimental for students with health concerns. While the policy states that ashtrays need only be 25 feet from building entrances, oftentimes, it appears that this is not sufficient for the needs of the campus.  

In 2014, there was discussion from both the student and faculty perspectives pushing to make SNHU a smoke-free campus. Student Mallory Denise Coulombe conducted surveys amongst 338 students in which she found that 78.7 percent of students were non-smokers. Additionally, she found that 75 percent of students were in favor of designated smoking areas, while 50 percent were in favor of a smoke-free campus.

It is our hope that smokers utilizing these ashtrays near public entrances be considerate of the non-smoking students, staff and faculty walking in and out of buildings. Additionally, it may be time for SNHU to reevaluate this policy, following in suit with many other universities trying to phase out the presence of cigarettes in their campus culture. 

Megan Palmer
Megan is an alumna of SNHU, formally the Editor-in-Chief of the Penmen Press. She was an English Language and Literature major with minors in communication and education, and she dedicated herself to the growth and success of SNHU's student-led newspaper. In addition to the Penmen Press, Megan also worked in the Deborah L. Coffin's Women Center, conducted extended research projects with SNHU's club for undergraduate research, and sang with her barbershop chorus.