Red River College is committed to a smoke-free zone, but some students feel inconvenienced

By: Gina Contreras

With the recent ban of smoking on patios, questions may come up about whether smoking bans on school campuses are effective or not.

Red River College’s (RRC) Notre Dame and Exchange District campuses have smoking policies that prohibit smoking on campus grounds with the exception of specifically designated areas. The policy states that smokers must be a minimum of ten meters away from any entrance.

“It’s for health reasons, if they’re close to the door the smoke enters the school and people have complained about it,” said Efren Rafael, a security guard at the Exchange District campus.  “For the most part students have respected the policy.”

According to the Environmental Health and Safety Services at RRC, the policy exists because of several complaints of excessive smoking in front of entrances or exits. The college has also implemented the policy due to the increase of costs to clean up butts discarded near school doorways.

The main entrance at the Notre Dame campus contains “Smoke Free Zone” Signage around the doorways./GINA CONTRERAS

However, some students from both campuses feel the policy is unreasonable.

“I don’t respect the policy. Someone like me who wants to take a quick smoke break just outside the doors can’t,” said Meaghan Summers, a business administration student at the Notre Dame campus, who is a smoker. “Having to walk from class to that zone is a waste of time, we should be able to smoke wherever on campus.”

Lack of respect for the policy at the campuses stems from the inconvenience of the smoke free zones. The zones are located at every entrance and exit all over the campuses. Smokers are supposed to walk ten feet from the doors to smoke.

Janine Bruce bears the cold to take a smoke break in between classes at the Exchange District campus./ GINA CONTRERAS

“I always need to be mindful. I need to remind myself to walk a little further out to take my smoke break,” said Janine Bruce, a computer and information systems technology student at the Exchange District campus, who is a smoker. “I don’t respect the policy, but there’s not much else I can do.”

With the passed bylaw to ban smoking on patios, students must concern themselves with smoking bans on school campuses and now on patios.