Smokers at UCF continue to smoke cigarettes despite that the campus was deemed smoke-free.
The University of Central Florida announced in the fall of 2012 the campus would be smoke-free. The smoke-free policy applies to all UCF owned property and everyone who is on the campus is asked not to smoke, including students, visitors and faculty. There are no fines or penalties for those who do not comply, but anyone that is aware of someone smoking is encouraged to share that the campus is now smoke-free and ask them politely to stop.
Daniel Kindell, a fifth-year senior majoring in international global studies who does not smoke, says he does not see people smoking on campus too often, but is okay with it because the majority of campus is smoke-free.
“I mean they can’t really do much, cause no matter what you say that someone can’t do, people are going to do it,” Kindell said. “It’s like drinking, underclassmen are expected to not drink but they do.”
Industrial engineering major Estefania Reyes is against smoking but personally does not mind it. She does think that UCF should start enforcing the policy a little bit more.
“Just a warning, I think fining would take care of it completely, but I think that is just crossing a line, in a way, so just a warning,” freshman Reyes said.
On the other hand, Lauren Torbit thinks that smoking is gross. Torbit is a senior majoring in marketing, and she does not smoke.
“It grosses me out, honestly,” Torbit said. “I can’t take the smell of it, so when I see people smoking on campus when they aren’t supposed to really annoys me. I personally don’t like it.”
According to the University Smoke-Free Policy, that UCF’s President John C. Hitt, signed, effective implementation of this policy depends upon the courtesy and cooperation of all members of the university community, not only to comply with this policy, but also to encourage others to comply with the policy.
Drew Domingo, a junior majoring in environmental engineering, started smoking when he was 17 and continues to smoke because of stress levels. He says he only smokes on campus if he is stressed or after he takes a test. He has been asked multiple times to stop smoking on campus.
“Yep I’ve been asked, in the most polite way possible as you can imagine,” Domingo said. “A lot of ‘you are a piece of s**t,’ that has happened to me before and that was fun, and he was like, ‘I cant believe you can’t wait till you are off campus to smoke a cigarette,’ as I am all the way over by the palm trees with no one else around me. That was one of my favorites.”
Freshman Maddison Carey had a completely different experience when asked to stop smoking on campus. The hospitality management major said she does not usually smoke on campus, only in social situations.
“Someone once came up behind me and asked me super politely to stop smoking because it was bothering her nose,” Carey said.
UCF says that the smoke-free campus initiative is designed to encourage behavioral change and healthy lifestyles, not to punish those who smoke. As of January 1, 2015, there are at least 1,514 100% smoke-free campuses, according to American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation. UCF chose to become a smoke-free campus because scientific evidence links smoking and second-hand smoke to cancer and other diseases.