As of fall 2014, Concordia has become a tobacco-free campus with the relocation of smoking areas on campus to places off of school grounds. The installment of this new policy has several reactions across the student body.

Molly Aga, the sophomore representative of Student Government Association believes this policy will put students who don’t smoke more at ease. According to Aga, students who don’t use tobacco will appreciate campus being tobacco-free.

“I think this policy has had positive repercussions,” Aga said. “It’s great that the majority of students don’t have to worry about tobacco use.”

Senior Jordan Hanevik doesn’t share Aga’s opinions.

“Ever since the tobacco ban, I feel as though my cigarette smoking has become more of an obstruction than it ever has been during my three years on campus,” she said.

And Hanevik isn’t the only student upset. Junior David Jensen rejects the policy due to discrimination against Concordia students who smoke.

“As someone who has successfully quit smoking, I still feel quite firmly that the tobacco ban on campus acts primarily as a way to marginalize certain minorities on campus,” Jensen said.

There are a small number of smokers on campus, Jensen claimed. While he respects the decision to encourage the abandonment of the activity, it has only aggravated smokers.

According to the Center of Disease Control, tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Secondhand smoke is also a risk, due to the hundreds of toxic chemicals being released into the air. 70 of these chemicals have been linked to cancer.

Aga thinks there have been mostly positive outcomes from this new policy.

“Students don’t have to worry about coming in contact with someone who may be smoking if they have bad asthma or other breathing problems” Aga said.

According to Jensen, promoting outreach programs or support groups might have been a more effective approach.

“Many of the smokers on campus now perceive themselves to be judged and stereotyped because of a decision they’ve made for themselves.”

Nick Nelson

Nick Nelson, '16, is an English writing major with a German minor at Concordia College. He has been involved with choir and musical endeavors on campus while also finding time to read and write strictly for leisure. Proud coffee addict, he looks forward to each day because it means waking up to black, dark roasts. Follow Nick on twitter at @NickNelson07.

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