Monday, March 23, 2009

The Plan...

Goal: Smoke-free campus

Three Step Plan
1)Post signs on campus building entrances and ban all campus-sponsored events involving tobacco
2)Create smoking zones in parking lots
3)Completely smoke free

Step 1: Ensure that signs are posted on all building entrances; No smoking within 50* feet of building entrances; Ban all campus sponsored events that promote tobacco.

Step 2: Smoking zones will include all parking lots as long as the smoker is at least 50* feet away from a campus building entrances; There are over fifteen parking lots within campus borders. Smokers should not have a problem reaching one during this initial phase; Student exposure to secondhand smoke will be greatly reduced.

Step 3: Smoking prohibited everywhere within campus borders; Smoking inside of cars negotiable; No exposure to secondhand smoke on Homewood Campus.

*The 50 foot area was chosen at the time of the proposal writing based on discussions with currently practicing smoke-free universities. After further communications with other universities, and in light of new research, this number is being reevaluated to potentially drop to 25-30 feet.


  1. I hope you guys allow a dissenting comment on your site. It may or may not empower you. We'll see how big you truly are.
    I am a non-smoker but I completely disagree with this. If people wish to smoke, then let them. I don't believe that this is anyone else's business but those that smoke and those that *choose* to stand near them. I don't stand near them as they choose to inhale carcinogens; I'm not an idiot. But they still have that choice. Let the people smoke and MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS!

  2. As a non-smoker and someone who has worked for the American Cancer Society for two years, I applaud Hopkins Kicks Butts' attempt at creating a healthier campus. However, while I support increasing smoke-free areas surrounding building entrances and residential sites, I feel that a whole-campus ban on smoking would be both unreasonable to smokers and unfeasible to achieve. Attempting to make the entire campus smoke-free would undoubtedly generate a strong backlash from smokers and other sympathetic or liberal-minded groups. Although it is respectable that Hopkins Kicks Butts aims for this goal, this issue has so far been an isolated conversation among non-smokers. It is important for this situation to be discussed with all affected parties. For instance, I do sympathize with the student who wrote that letter to the dean regarding the smokers outside his/her window. While the student has every right to complain, perhaps it would have been more constructive for both parties--smokers outside the dorm and non-smokers inside the dorm--to discuss their concerns with one another and try to come up with a resolution. If those smokers are obstinate about moving somewhere else to smoke, I am sure that a Residential Life staff member would be willing to take action against those smokers. I hope that Hopkins Kicks Butts, along with other sympathetic non-smokers, recognize that not all smokers disrespect the right of others to healthy air. There are those who choose to move far away from residential sites (while still on campus) to smoke. Indeed, banning the entire campus would be an extreme action that might cause smokers to feel that their rights have been unjustly encroached.

  3. I think that steps one and two are are perfectly reasonable, and I agree with the sentiment that walking behind someone who smokes is extremely annoying. However, I think that it is unreasonable to force employees of Hopkins, particularly food staff, maintenance, and security personal, who do not have long breaks to change their lifestyle because of this ban. I think that it is not our right or responsibility to make their decisions for them. Thus, I think that the ban should stop at allowing smoking in parking lots or designated areas near where many employees take their breaks, although situated in such a way that employees will not be forced to take their break with smokers. I think that this is an excellent compromise, because to do more would be to infringe upon the rights of smokers, who are legally allowed to smoke.

    Also, I think that the premise that smoking in cars will be negotiable should be removed, because the car is the person's private property. I understand the idea that it is parked on a school parking lot, but the parking lots do not say no visitors or no trespassing, and, as long as the cigarette stays in a car with rolled up windows, I do not see how it is our right to infringe upon their right to smoke in their own property.

  4. We definitely would appreciate any input from current employees. Our goal is to improve the overall health of the entire Hopkins community- students, faculty, and staff alike. One complaint that we frequently receive is that many staff members do smoke near building entrances and it seems to be a growing concern. We would love to be able to reach a compromise so that employees feel respected, and students/residents feel their air is protected.



This blog is not meant to be a comprehensive alternative to the formal HKB Smoke-free Campus Policy Proposal. If you would like more information regarding data and research, or to request a copy of the formal proposal in its current state, please do not hesitate to contact HKB at We are more than happy to supply you with any supporting documentation and further explainations.