Campaign against campus smoking

A UH student started an initiative to stop smoking on campus and collected survey data to gauge student opinions.

Kristin Tang, a biology junior, created a movement for a smoke-free campus.

Tang, who is co-president of the Collegiate Cancer Council, decided to get involved to educate students on improving their health.

“This is us making a difference, educating people on their health,” Tang said.

Tang collected over 2,000 student surveys where she asked if they would like a smoke-free campus or designated areas for smoking.

After analyzing 600 surveys, Tang said only 14 percent are happy with the current policy and 80 percent would like to have either smoke-free or designated areas in campus. Tang still continues to analyze the surveys.

“There’s the consensus of students,” Tang said. “We do not want people smoking around us.”

Aside from having a healthier environment, Tang said studies have shown that going smoke-free reduces lost workdays due to illness.

According to the Non-smokers Rights Foundation, there are more than 350 universities that are smoke-free in the United States, with 15 in Texas.

Although Tang has not talked to SGA directly, she plans to do so when the new legislation takes office.

Junior student Adam Nasser, a smoker who is majoring in history, does not like the idea about having a smoke-free campus, but thinks that it’s a good idea to have designated areas.

“They should get a little stricter on it and just smoke in certain areas,” Nasser said.

David Toombs, creative writing senior and smoker, said he doesn’t like the idea either.

He said that he wouldn’t stop in the designated area to smoke.

“I’m going to be inclined to light up a cigarette wherever I am if I’m running late for class,” Toombs said. “I’m not going to care, unless someone is standing there to write me a ticket. I honestly wouldn’t care.”

The initiative started with the Great American Smoke Out, an event organized last November by the CCC, where barbecue was offered to students who threw away their cigarettes.

Aside from offering free food, the event displayed pig lungs to show students how damaged their lungs could get by smoking.

According to Tang, about 30 people threw away their cigarettes that day.

Tang has the support of faculty including Floyd Robinson, director of the UH Health Center.


  • I do hate walking through the passage outside Agnes Arnold Hall and getting 3 nice lungfuls of smoke. But, policing 40,000 people on a personal choice, doesn't really make sense

  • If smokers would stop being so obnoxious by smoking 2 feet away from people, we (non-smokers) would not complain.
    But I seriously doubt anyone would enforce a no smoking policy. Who enforces the current smoking policy concerning distance from buildings…

  • I don't mind having smokers on campus when they are considerate. I've met some great people who make sure to blow the smoke away from people. It's does bug me when people don't care and end up giving me a face full of smoke. All this wouldn't be a problem if people just paid attention to where they blow their smoke.

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