HOUSTON—The University of Houston has made a proposal to ban smoking on campus in an effort to have a tobacco-free campus.
UH Health Center Director Floyd Robinson said he wants to keep students and faculty healthy.
He said he hopes all tobacco products will be eventually banned from campus.
“It’s not really as glamourous as you think if you’re standing at the bedside of a loved one contributed to cigarette smoking, it’s not really that wonderful,” he said.
But there is a financial motive too. Universities, like UH, who receive funding from the Cancer Prevention Institute of Texas, were told to go smoke-free by the end of August to continue receiving grant money.
The student senate protested the ban so the school is searching for other solutions.
“I think smokers are aware that this is their right…if there were a program in place, they would have an interest in investigating that possibility,” said a UH student who didn't want to be identified.
He said he knows he can’t smoke within 25 feet of a building and keeps a respectful distance from non-smokers.
“We move away from people, that’s why we pick this area, not near people walking in the buildings just in case they don’t like the smell,” he said.
But students like Kelcey Curry hope a campus-wide tobacco ban is approved.
“I have asthma and I hate the smell of smoke, put them in their own area,” she said. “We can have our clean free environment.”
Nationwide, there are almost 800 campuses that are smoke free, and among those, more than 500 have a tobacco-free policy.