EDITORIAL: Smoking ban needs enforcement

“Ban” is a pretty strong way of labeling the approach the University has taken towards smoking on campus.  It has been over a year since FIU first implemented its University-wide smoking ban, and we have yet to see evidence of it at any campus.
While we are not condoning smoking or disregarding the health risks associated with it, The Beacon suggests that the smoking ban, as it is currently enforced, does not ban much.
Regardless of which campus one might frequent, the odds of seeing someone smoking on campus are high.  If a regulation such as this, is going to be implemented, it needs to be enforced.
As the smoking ban currently stands, any one who witnesses the use of tobacco on campus is to verbally address the person and hand over an information card on the ban’s specifics.
Not only is this method of enforcement unrealistic (How likely is it that students will go to acquire these cards?), but it was only meant to be in place for the first six months of regulation.  If the University is going to consider itself tobacco-free then there must be consequences for those who go against it.
Without real enforcement or a tangible set of disciplinary consequences, all the smoking ban ensures is that there won’t be any ashtrays for the disposal of cigarettes.
While addiction to tobacco is clearly unhealthy, we respect a person’s choice to do what is legally within rights to their body. Residential students or faculty and staff that spend the day on any campus still find a way to smoke, and not providing them with any place to dispose or smoke their cigarettes simply increases pollution.
We are not suggesting a reversal on the ban, but encouraging the development of a formal sanction of regulations. Until then, perhaps the signs in front of every doorway should read, “kind of a smoke free campus.”

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