Students react to smoking restrictions

Karl Schneider

The city of Cleveland instituted a ban on the sale of tobacco to anybody under 21 years of age. The ban is set to take place Thursday, April 14. Unlike an age-restricted ban, Kent State is contemplating an all-out ban on tobacco on campus.

Student smokers and non-smokers on campus both agreed that there is a certain responsibility to pay attention to the needs of non-smokers, but think an all-out ban is too much.

I disagree with Kent being tobacco-free,” said Cameron Hooks, a non-smoker and junior fashion merchandising major. “(Tobacco) can be a stress-reliever after a long test or something.”

While Hooks disagreed with a tobacco-free campus, he did agree with Cleveland’s decision to raise the legal buying age of tobacco.

“If you need to be 21 to buy alcohol, you need to be 21 to buy tobacco,” Hooks said.

Daisha Davis, another non-smoker and sophomore fashion merchandising major, said that assigning designated smoking areas is a better option for Kent State.

Some students disagreed with both tobacco restrictions, saying the law has always protected smokers’ rights.

“They either need to change the law for everyone, or get rid of it,” said senior communication studies major Alicia Johnson, about the age restrictions in Cleveland.

Johnson also understands the need to protect people who don’t want to smoke, but doesn’t think the university can override a state law. She agrees with Emily McCloskey, a freshman digital media production major, who said, “If people are allowed to vape inside, how can you ban it outside?”

The Kent Board of Trustees has recommended the university be tobacco-free by July 2017.

Karl Schneider is a administration reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].