Campus smoking ban popular


Brad Dress & Tony Petro, Reporter & Club News Editor

AACC students said in November they appreciate the clean, smoke-free air on campus since the Board of Trustees banned smoking in 2015.

In an informal poll of 20 students around campus, 19 of 20 said they are glad the campus is smoke-free.

“I love it,” Noah Stewart, a junior and a political science major, said. “I study outside a lot, in the quads by Humanities and West Campus. Smoking changes the atmosphere and it’s a huge distractor to those who don’t smoke.”

The Board of Trustees banned smoking and other tobacco products from all three campuses in July 2015.

AACC became the 14th of Maryland’s 16 community colleges to ban smoking after the college conducted a poll of students’ feelings regarding smoking.

AACC offers free resources to help tobacco users kick the habit. The resources, funded by the Anne Arundel County Health Department, include free nicotine patches, gum and counseling.

On Nov. 17, AACC Health Services brought the Tobacco-Free College Campus Initiative to campus by hosting “Take a 1Day Stand Against Tobacco.” The event, at which smokers could sign a pledge to quit, celebrated the American Cancer Society’s national Great American SmokeOut.

Two mobile carts went around campus with pledge cards, Chick-fil-A, candy and water as incentives for smokers to sign.

“We want to increase awareness,” Carol Jacobson, an AACC tobacco prevention/cessation coordinator, said. Jacobson said she met with more than 30 students this semester to help them quit.

Students in the informal poll said the no-smoking policy is a good change.

“I don’t smoke, so I guess it’s fine,” sophomore Noah Duncan, a sports medicine major, said. “I mean people used to linger and non-smokers were offended by the smell. Smoking also can definitely be inappropriate at times.”

Sean Burton, a second-year EMT transfer student, said that the ban helps him quit smoking.

“I’m actually trying to quit,” Burton said. “It helps me out too. It definitely encourages me not to smoke.”

Any student who gets caught smoking on campus must pay a $50 fine. Students are allowed to smoke in their cars.