According to the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation (ANRF) website, there are at least 1,543 smoke-free campuses in the U.S. This number includes 1,043 tobacco-free schools, which explicitly ban all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco.
George Washington University (GW) in Washington, D.C. is a smoke-free campus.
The University of Maryland and Towson University are also smoke-free campuses. American University is a tobacco-free campus.
At Towson and American, violators of the universities’ smoke-free policies are subject to disciplinary action. Additionally, Towson faculty and staff are subject to a $75 fine, which they can contest.
Yun stressed that whatever policy is put in place would have to accommodate all members of the Hopkins community.
“This is a process where we have to make sure that all our constituencies are cared for and supported as we go through this,” Yun said.
Alain Joffe, director of the Student Health & Wellness Center, believes that the University should go smoke-free for health reasons.
“If we follow the lead of the hospital and the School of Medicine in making buildings and the campus a smoke-free campus,” Joffe said. “I think hopefully that will be an incentive for people, who are still smoking, to quit.”
He believes there are more student smokers than faculty and staff smokers who know where to buy discount cigarettes online.
“I don’t have any hard data,” Joffe said. “My guess would be that it’s probably a higher percentage of students if you include students who label themselves as casual smokers or social smokers — ‘I don’t smoke regularly, but if I’m out with friends I might have a cigarette, or at exam times I smoke, but I don’t smoke a lot other times.’”
He said that the center is equipped with resources to help students quit.
“I would say the majority of students who do smoke either… say they consider themselves just social smokers and… don’t foresee themselves smoking beyond college,” Joffe said. “Or you have students who say, ‘Yeah, I know I should quit, but this is a very stressful time for me. School’s really hard.’”
Joffe said health care workers at the center can provide students with alternative options for handling stress.
“For people who say smoking helps them relax, the question is whether they could achieve the same end by using a nicotine replacement product where you’re still getting the nicotine, so you don’t go through withdrawal, but at least you’re not getting all the smoke into your lungs,” Joffe said. “Everybody’s a little bit different, and there isn’t a single method that works for everyone, so we try to meet the smoker where he or she is, in terms of how they think they can best accomplish it.”