After six years of USF’s first tobacco ban, the university decided to spread the policy throughout the entire campus.
USF officials say the policy was made to incentivize people to stop smoking, not to punish them.
“USF Health had previously gone tobacco and smoke free in 2009 and the St. Pete and Sarasota Manatee campuses are also tobacco smoke free,” said USF Assistant Director of Communications Aaron Nichols.
“So, Tampa is the last campus in the system to make this change.”
In 2011 USF President Judy Genshaft created the Tobacco Use Task Force, which consisted in a group of students and employees helping promote the transition of smoke free campus.
“That’s what led to the change of 2012 to restrictive smoking to certain areas. At the time, they didn’t think that the campus community was ready to go totally smoke and tobacco free,” said Nichols.
“And, that’s given us a really good transition period to lead up to this. At the time, I think, there was a lot shock at the policy and now it’s been well received.”
USF students have expressed mixed feelings about this new policy that starts next year which eliminates all 24 designated smoking areas.
“I think it benefits the environment and it also bothers some people because of the smell,” said USF student Nick Ramos. “I know whenever I walk by, I just like to keep my distance because the smell bothers me.”
USF student Ibrahim Aldairem says although the policy will be active next semester, many students have mentioned that they will continue smoking.
USF officials say the new policy will not be enforced by the campus police. They are hoping for peer enforcement.