UNM's tobacco-free policy in effect

Sam Smith
August 25, 2017 06:31 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- University of New Mexico students and faculty are starting the fall semester with a new rule. Tobacco is now banned all over campus with the exception of some designated spots.


KOB went to UNM to gauge students' reaction

"There's a majority of people that don't smoke, and just because we do smoke, it's like we're being singled out, kind of," said Justin Carmichael, a junior at UNM.

The "smoke bench" at Redondo Village is a safe haven for Carmichael.  He knows he can light up a cigarette here. Redondo Village is one of only two areas on campus, where students can smoke.

That's a comforting thought for UNM students like Amanda Drake.

"A lot of times, the secondhand smoke can be very harmful to other people and my family," she said. "It could cause them to have asthma attacks. It makes me feel a little bit safe, knowing my family could be safe on campus without the smoke."

Any UNM student caught smoking in non-designated areas on campus is subject to a warning, then a $100 fine.  But Carmichael said he's not too concerned.

"I'd say if you're not standing in one place, you can pretty much smoke wherever you want, just as long as you keep moving," he said.

"I see some classmates smoke outside and everything. Like outside the buildings and everything.  So it's not really as enforced as it should be," Drake added.

For most UNM students, the smoking issue comes down to a matter of choice and respecting that point of view.

"You're dictating their choice for them at that point," student Christian Young said. "You're either making them late for a class or you're going to make them stop smoking. And if they want to smoke, again they can choose that."


Sam Smith

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