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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

USG Considers Campus Smoking Ban

Students will be debating whether USC should go smoke-free.

A forum to be hosted Wednesday evening by USC's Undergraduate Student Government may determine the future of smoking privileges on campus.

Students and administrators are invited to participate and voice their opinions on a potential smoking ban, which would dramatically change USC's current policy of limiting smoking to several designated areas on campus.

"I think the smell of smoke is nauseating," said freshman Alex Kludjian, who believes a smoke-free campus would be a "healthy change for the environment."

The forum will determine whether a formal petition to end smoking on campus will be written, reviewed and approved by the administration. If the resolution is approved, USC will join 530 smoke-free campuses in the nation.

USC Professor of Preventine Medicine and Psychology Steve Sussman, who is also an expert on smoking cessation, had mixed opinions on this matter. He said two to three percent of smokers typically quit when bans like these are implemented, but it could cause withdrawal symptoms leading to academic problems. "It's going to be hard for a lot of these students to concentrate," he said.

Some students are unhappy with the potential ban.

"I do believe that every individual should have the freedom to do whatever they want," said junior Gregory Hirshland, who has been smoking for four years.

Others believe that smoking should just be limited by tougher measures.

"I hate secondhand smoke and I hate people walking around and blowing smoke in my face but it is their decision and I don't know if I can infringe on that," said sophomore Tyleranne Isaman. "I think that we should just have more strictly enforced smoking areas and that people shouldn't be alowed to walk and smoke at the same time," she said.

Sussman said that if the campus does become smoke-free, it is USC's responsibility to have solutions for students. "I think that there is a moral imperative for the university to offer a lot of cessation programs and assistance," he said.


This isn't a health issue anymore. It's a moral issue, there’s absolutely zero reason for a smoking ban outdoors. They use it as a tool. Harm from smoke outdoors is an excuse to frustrate smokers into quitting because they can't find a place to light up. It's not the place of schools to enforce health issues. Schools are a business. Who assigned them the role of behavior modification? It's their responsibility to educate. What they're doing is indoctrinating."
Government has the power to approve or ban certain products from sale through several agencies. Many proven harmful by science have been outlawed, and cigarettes are definitely harmful. So far the government hasn’t banned them. Maybe Dr. Glasper and officials at the college district believe they don’t control the whole government, just their slice of it, and that justifies the decision. But that’s a slippery slope.
Remember also, that these are elected officials and the funding for projects on any Maricopa campus comes from bonds approved by voters. Perhaps before casting a vote in favor a Maricopa county community college bond initiative or the election of the president or governing board member,… and if you feel strongly about the rights of individuals to make their own choices. Remember the fact that this is the same institution and administrator that blatantly ignored the rights of their employees and paying students. This fact alone might influence your vote.

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