Update: Starting January 1st 2014, the UH Manoa campus will be smoke-free. Electronic cigarettes will also be banned.
HONOLULU— UH Manoa may soon be a tobacco-free school.
If the Colleges Against Cancer organization is able to convince Chancellor Apple to ban tobacco products, then UHM may undergo some new changes. Earlier this year, they collected numerous signatures on their petition for a smoke-free campus.
The students behind the petition are hoping to ban tobacco for the sake of non-smokers. According to Alyssa-Marie Kau, UHM Relay Chair, the Colleges Against Cancer organization collected over 1,000 signatures.
“Second-hand smoke is one of the biggest causes of lung cancer,” Kau said. “It’s another reason why we want to keep our students as safe as possible.”
The Relay For Life Committee is hoping to promote healthy living on the UH Manoa campus.
“We’re all young, we all have our lives ahead of us, and we all want to make the environment a better place,” Kau said.
If the university does become a smoke-free campus, cigarette smokers would have to go off campus in order smoke. This proposal has caused some controversy on the campus.
UHM art major, Koso Oh, is against the smoke-free proposal, saying it would be a big hassle. He thinks his smoking is not bothersome to others because he doesn’t smoke around people.
However, Drew Tandal, a theatre major, supports the tobacco ban.
“Second-hand smoke is pretty dangerous to other people’s lives,” Tandal said. “So eliminating cigarettes totally will only benefit those who don’t smoke.”
A UH PhD student, has mixed feelings about Manoa going smoke-free.
“Obviously I smoke, I would not like to have to go off campus to do so,” the student said. “On the other hand if enough people agree with that is what’s supposed to happen, then there you go, I mean democracy.”
According to American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, within the United States, almost 800 colleges and universities already have tobacco-free policies. UHM’s Chancellor Apple will have to take everything from both sides into consideration before making any big changes at the Manoa campus.