In liveblog By Erin M Supinka on March 19th 2014

Below is a transcript from the Smoking Policy live blog session.

Nathan C Castle
05:33:08 pm
Hi everyone! We'll be starting soon! Today we'll be discussing the proposed campus-wide smoking ban!
Nathan C Castle
05:34:52 pm
Donna Rubin, Assistant VP for Student Wellness and Mike Stojkovic, Associate Director for Wellness will be presenting and are the co-chairs of the task force behind the policy
Nathan C Castle
05:36:11 pm
In October 2012, the task force was established
Nathan C Castle
05:36:38 pm
In Jan. 2013, the task force was divided into multiple committees
Nathan C Castle
05:38:12 pm
A survey was distrubuted to Internation Students. 555 out of 2016 responded
Nathan C Castle
05:39:39 pm
The presentation being presented today is available here: https://sg.rit.edu/issues
Nathan C Castle
05:40:29 pm
The proposed policy change would include all tobacco products and e-cigarettes. Also, make sure to note that this would include all RIT-managed properties (parking lots, athletic fields, etc.)
Nathan C Castle
05:40:47 pm
If this went through, there would an 8-12 month roll out.
Nathan C Castle
05:41:28 pm
There have been a lot of questions about the ban on e-cigarettes.
Nathan C Castle
05:41:59 pm
Note: The roll out would only start if the policy was approved at the May Institute Council meeting.
Nathan C Castle
05:42:51 pm
If at some point, the FDA addressed e-cigarettes more fully, the policy would be revised according to those findings.
Nathan C Castle
05:50:58 pm
The Q&A session is about to begin
Nathan C Castle
05:51:33 pm
Student: Why did you only ask international students? Have proved that banning smoking on campus will benefit all students and staff?
Nathan C Castle
05:53:06 pm
Answer: We had an open forum when we first started the task force so there was community input at the beginning. The survey was directed to see the impact on international students. We have studies that showcase the impact of a smoking ban on campus and impact on enrollment.
Nathan C Castle
05:54:43 pm
Opinion: I don't support this policy change. I think there can be changes to the current policy.
Nathan C Castle
05:55:24 pm
Rubin: We spoke to other campuses who had done specific areas and they regretted it. They found it bled out from those areas.
Nathan C Castle
05:56:04 pm
Rubin: The campuses who went entirely smoke-free were much more satisfied with their results.
Nathan C Castle
05:56:40 pm
Stojkovic: The current policy is not updated and technically students can smoke right in the doorways of buildings. The policy only regards residence halls.
Nathan C Castle
05:57:53 pm
Student: What is the goal? To convince students to stop smoking? Preventing second-hand smoke? This seems unenforceable policy. A complete ban seems like it might alienate an entire population of student. I like RIT because it treats me like an adult. This seems like the opposite.
Nathan C Castle
05:58:48 pm
Stojkovic: Yes. Health is a huge part of it. There's a ton of exposure for second-hand smoke.
Nathan C Castle
05:59:13 pm
Stojkovic: There are students who extra succeptible to second-hand smoke and we need to keep them in mind.
Nathan C Castle
06:00:03 pm
Student: I don't smoke tobacco. We mentioned respect a lot today. I think a better approach is a mutual one. Setting up highly enforced areas and having areas that are out of the way so students can still smoke. There should be a compromise.
Nathan C Castle
06:02:12 pm
Students: I'd like to confirm that policy only prohibits use, not the ownership, correct?
Nathan C Castle
06:02:23 pm
Rubin: Correct
Nathan C Castle
06:02:36 pm
Student: Why do you think a full-ban would work better for our campus?
Nathan C Castle
06:03:28 pm
Rubin: There are a couple issues of having a smoking area. It bleeds away from there in time. The other is that those areas are full of cigarette butts. Those are two big influences. .
Nathan C Castle
06:03:58 pm
Student: The campus is big! Where could students go to smoke?
Nathan C Castle
06:05:25 pm
Rubin: The process for this policy will be: presenting to institute council. It could be the way you see it now or it can be ammended. Whatever form it takes, it will presented and voted on.
Nathan C Castle
06:06:59 pm
Student: Have we thought to redesign the cigarette butt campuses? Have there been considerations into students who may use cigarettes as a coping a mechanism? I think smokers on campus are aware of people who don't smoke on campus
Nathan C Castle
06:07:51 pm
Student: I've noticed from a little bit of research and e-cigarettes, there's big concern about the health reasons and I've done some research. You can pick nicotine or no nicotine. Would allow for a non-nicotine one?
Nathan C Castle
06:08:34 pm
Rubin: At this point, the policy is all e-cigs. But amendments can be made.
Nathan C Castle
06:11:19 pm
Student: I would suggest banning e-cigarettes first before cigarettes.
Nathan C Castle
06:11:40 pm
Stojkovic: We still don't know a lot about e-cigarettes. There's no standards on them yet.
Nathan C Castle
06:14:43 pm
Student: I don't think anyone would go up and nicely approach a smoker to tell them to stop smoking. I think it would have to be campus safety.
Nathan C Castle
06:15:38 pm
Student: Smokers aren't bad people! Yet there are still negative actions and stereotypes who smoke. I think the wellness umbrella increases those stereotypes.
Nathan C Castle
06:17:09 pm
Rubin: I wanted to bring it back to community reinforcement. Our hope would be a shift in the culture here. Like in restaurants. The culture has changed. There are examples of shifts and cultures where it's just accepted by. That is our hope.
Nathan C Castle
06:19:27 pm
Student: I think we need to refine this policy and present it differently. I think we need to have plans set in place first.
Nathan C Castle
06:25:29 pm
Student: What are students who live on campus year round going to do? What about retribution for the university with these unhappy students?
Nathan C Castle
06:25:49 pm
Rubin: We would market more of our programs to help students quit.
Nathan C Castle
06:26:17 pm
Stojkovic: in 2012 it was established that smoking is not a fundamental or civil right.
Nathan C Castle
06:27:03 pm
Student: If the only place you could legally smoke would be in the car, that kind of promotes littering. Who keeps their cigarette butts in their car?
Nathan C Castle
06:27:31 pm
Student: Hearing this feedback, what is your action plan?
Nathan C Castle
06:28:43 pm
Rubin: There is another forum coming up so after that, there will be a meeting of the task force, taking and listening to all the feedback.
Nathan C Castle
06:29:00 pm
Rubin: After the meeting we will decide if the policy changes or not.
Nathan C Castle
06:33:28 pm
Student: I'd like to comment on the sample size. I think the sample size it a little too small for a campus-wide institution. It makes it different to justify the reasons.
Nathan C Castle
06:34:19 pm
Students: I think this iniative could encourage students to smoke inside. In dorms, in apartments, etc. I don't think that's safe.
Nathan C Castle
06:35:23 pm
Student: As a smoker, I feel discriminated against. I understand people are sensitive and don't like it. I'm aware of that and appreciate that. I try to respect that. But I think we need to work on revising.
Nathan C Castle
06:36:08 pm
Student: You're allowed to smoke in your car, can I still smoke while I'm driving? But I'm on campus, smoking in my car?
Nathan C Castle
06:36:31 pm
Student Government: Thank you to everyone for coming! Thank you, thank you!