College has no plans to ban smoking

by Sam Rauschenfels | 3/26/12 10:00pm

Although many colleges have implemented or considered implementing campus-wide smoking bans, Dartmouth has no current plans to follow suit.
by Nathan Yeo and Hunter van Adelsberg / The Dartmouth

Both New Hampshire law and College policy ban smoking indoors, according to Anderson.

Harvard University's Student Life Committee recently debated an anti-smoking proposal brought forth by the Institute of Politics Tobacco Control Policy Group, The Harvard Crimson reported. Harvard's Longwood Medical Campus which includes Harvard Medical School and the School of Public Health has enforced a smoking ban since 2009, according to The Crimson.

Dartmouth students may smoke outside of College-owned residence halls and Greek houses as long as the smoke "does not affect residents inside the building," according to the Office of Residential Life's "Welcome Home" packet for first-year students. Privately owned Greek houses and undergraduate societies are allowed to establish their own rules about smoking, according to the packet.

Smoking by College employees is also banned from all "shared work areas and buildings," according to the College's employment policies and procedures manual. The manual defines a work area as "any enclosed location, permanent or temporary, where faculty or staff members perform any work-related duties."

"I really do think that, as a practical matter, smoking is not permitted at Dartmouth," Anderson said. "It's not something that's easy to do."

Matthew Her Many Horses '15 said he felt smoking is not difficult on campus, as long as he is not trying to smoke in an enclosed area.

"It depends on who you're with," he said. "I feel like certain people don't like to be smoked around."

Dartmouth complies with New Hampshire's Indoor Smoking Act, which prohibits smoking in any buildings open to the general public such as restaurants and public educational facilities except in cases where a designated indoor smoking area is properly sealed off from other areas, according to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services website.

If the College were to consider banning smoking completely from campus, a campus-wide dialogue would be necessary before a decision could be reached, according to Anderson.

"I don't think [a complete smoking ban] has ever been considered and declined," Anderson said. "I don't think it's risen to that level."

Dartmouth focuses on education and outreach targeted at individuals wishing to quit smoking or those contemplating starting to smoke, according to Anderson.

The rate of smokers quitting has actually "stagnated" during the past 20 years, according to the American Council on Science and Health. A study published in the journal Tobacco Control on Dec. 7, 2011 indicated that, from 1991 to 2010, quitting rates fluctuated but did not increase overall.