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Letter to the Editor: No surprise student smoking hasn’t stopped

It is of no surprise to me that – as one of your recent opinion articles states – “FGCU’s tobacco ban hasn’t stopped student smokers” completely, and it was unrealistic to think that it ever would.

Many in our community seemed to believe that just putting text on the FGCU website and posting few signs around campus would suddenly flip a magical light switch that would “turn off” smoking on our grounds.

“Eagles Care for Clean Air” has done exactly what comprehensive anti-tobacco policies always do: it ignores the complexities of health education and smoking cessation and simply shames smokers out of sight. It’s the visual that the university is trying to banish, not the act.

Regardless, the policy is here and isn’t going anywhere. Smokers are adjusting their habits. Change – particularly change to a university culture – takes time. We will see fewer instances of public smoking as the semesters roll on. Patience is, as always, a virtue.

Patrick T. Niner

Department of Language and Literature

Editor’s Note: The article Niner is referencing, “FGCU’s tobacco ban hasn’t stopped student smokers,” was published in the News section on April 22, 2017.

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