UTSA considers smoke-free policy where smokers move off-campus

UTSA stands to lose science research grant if smoking on campus continues

Author: Ursula Pari, Anchor, upari@ksat.com
Published On: Sep 25 2012 07:00:40 PM CDT   Updated On: Sep 25 2012 10:00:33 PM CDT
UTSA smoke
SAN ANTONIO -

UTSA is considering a smoke-free policy that would force smokers to move off-campus.

Already this year, University of Texas-San Antonio students became prohibited from smoking indoors and adjacent to buildings and walkways, but come 2013, UTSA would go smoke-free on campus.

A task force comprised of both smokers and non-smokers are putting together a smoke-free policy. Non-smokers are quick to point out the problem.

"As I'm walking on campus, there's just people everywhere, and smoke's just in my face," said Deanna Tran, a non-smoker.

And some say the new smoking limits already in place aren't doing much to curb that issue.

"People are walking out of classrooms, or walking out of buildings, and getting smoke blown at them," said Austin Hage. "Some people have issues with it."

Smokers on campus say the problem is not the ban itself -- it's what the ban will make them do, which is come all the way off campus for a smoke.

"It was hard for us to have to walk off campus to smoke and then come back," said one student. "And when people don't smoke, they are not exactly happy."

Josh Foster, a smoker, agreed. "That would suck if they took smoking off campus," Foster said. "A lot of people would be very angry.

The reasoning behind the smoke-free policy task force is money. The campus stands to lose a science research grant if smoking continues on campus.

As a result of issues like that, already campuses from Austin to Arlington have started bans of their own this semester.