New campus anti-smoking policy is just PR move

READ: Administration creates committee to eliminate tobacco products on campus by 2016

Here we go again. A letter from the desk of President Bradshaw has come out and is announcing the formation and changes to the Florida Gulf Coast University Smoke/Tobacco-Free Campus Implementing Committee.

The announcement states that by the beginning of summer 2016, this campus will be smoke/tobacco-free.

The university continues to try to initiate this, stating that, “Other campuses throughout Florida and the country have already gone tobacco-free.” Yes, other campuses have. I remember attending one of those tobacco-free campuses before I transferred to FGCU. You know what else I remember? Wasted effort. Students who smoke or use tobacco products still used the products and smoked. On a large campus, do they really think students won’t find somewhere to smoke?

They are implementing this committee without thinking about the cost. First of all, what is this going to cost? Because eventually those costs will be passed onto students.

Also, what about the added amount of enforcement through university police to make sure that students aren’t smoking on campus? That’s going to cost money. Surely, this committee isn’t going to make the campus tobacco-free and then not enforce it, right?

The truth is, this is a college campus where most of the students are adults. Those students who want to smoke are going to find somewhere to go. Maybe they take a walk to the parking garage and sit in their cars. Maybe they hide behind buildings. Maybe they just take the chance that they don’t get caught.

I get that FGCU is jumping on board with the entire tobacco-free Florida initiative. That’s another thing that doesn’t make sense. Here’s this campaign for a tobacco-free Florida. Maybe Florida hasn’t considered how much revenue is brought in from excise taxes because of the sale of tobacco products. Where do they think that revenue will come from if all of Florida does become tobacco-free?

FGCU does have more students on campus who don’t use tobacco products than students who do. But does this committee really think that by making rules against something that it will stop it? I mean, the school has a policy against students younger than 21 having alcohol in their dorm rooms, but does that stop them? No. There are housing violations every week concerning alcohol.

The fact is this is a waste of money. We need more parking. We need more seating in Alico Arena. There are several things that the money could be spent on that would benefit the school more. Just because something is against the rules doesn’t mean that people will stop doing it. This is an exercise in futility.

This new policy is just mental masturbation. Students who don’t use tobacco products can walk around on campus and feel good that their campus is smoke/tobacco-free. All that is really happening is FGCU is putting blinders on and telling the student body to do the same.

They’ll put up big signs that say, “FGCU is proud to be a tobacco-free campus.” And behind that sign, some kid is hiding and smoking a cigarette.

OPPOSING OPINION: Tobacco/smoke-free campus a step in the right direction