Nearly 11 months after the Stony Brook University administration banned the use of all tobacco products on campus, students are starting to notice results.
The Student Health Advisory Council held a third tobacco cleanup effort outside Melville Library on Nov. 13, collecting 2.1 pounds of cigarette butts as opposed to the 14 pounds they collected in November 2015.
“When I see people smoking, I’ll ask them, remind them it’s a tobacco-free campus – and no one has ever not put out their cigarette when I’ve said that and that’s great,” President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. said at a student media briefing earlier this month.
In April, only four months after the Jan. 1 ban was implemented, the Student Health Advisory Council collected 5.75 pounds of tobacco-related waste.
As of October, Stony Brook was one of 14 SUNY schools to implement a smoking ban, according to the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation. State legislators proposed a SUNY-wide tobacco ban in 2012 but the measure failed to pass.
The policy thus far has been peer-enforced, but Stanley said that the university is considering citations for smoking on campus.
“But I think we’ve reached a point now where there are some individuals who really probably know that there is a smoking ban on campus, but continue to smoke on campus,” Stanley said. “And so, I think we’re going to move to a new phase essentially, where we will start issuing citations–potentially–to those people.”
Although Stanley admitted citations might be necessary to eliminate smoking on campus, he said he would prefer to keep the ban peer-enforced. A news release from Nov. 15 stated, “non-compliance with the policy will be treated in the same manner as with other University policies.”