University Nears Two Years of Being Smoke-Free


On June 1, 2015 the University of New Haven made the decision to become a smoke-free campus. Since then the typically consensus is that students and faculty have been fairly compliant with the new policy.

“They were following a nation-wide trend that has been happening across the country in all colleges and university,” said Director of Health Services Paula Cappuccia in regards to the decision.

The policy details the reasoning of the policy online stating, “We support a healthier future for all in our university community and in our nation.”
Under the policy all tobacco products are banned including cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, blunts, hookah, and any product intended to mimic tobacco products, according to the online guidelines.

Dean Rebecca Johnson expressed that the goal of the policy was to promote a healthy campus environment and community.

“The policy prior to the University going tobacco free required smokers to be 20’ from a building. After implementation of our smoke free, tobacco-free campus in 2015, students, faculty, and staff no longer have to walk through smoke filled air to access University buildings. In addition, residence hall students no longer complain of smoke coming in through their windows,” she said.

Cappuccia mentioned the hazards of smoking, even just as a bystander experiencing second hand smoke. She described the campus community as better-off with fewer people smoking.

The policy was initiated, according the Cappuccia, due to the input from students and staff in a survey sent out prior. She mentioned that even smokers agreed that campus should be smoke free. It was put into place in June to allow new students to become acclimated during the SOAR sessions.

“When we announced it I happened to be in parent meetings and everyone started clapping,” she said.

Since the policy, not only students, but parents have been acclimating to the change. One University student, Nicole Manall, explained that her father, a smoker, was irritated at first hearing the policy, but has since become acclimated to having a cigarette prior to arriving on campus.

“I think it’s part of the way things are in the normal population, you can’t smoke in a restaurant or in a facility or in a game so parents just role with it,” said Cappuccia of parental attitudes.

Students have been compliant, according to Dean Johnson and Tracy Mooney, Chief of Police at the University, also noting that there have been no big issues since the initiation of the policy.

“The policy forces me off campus, sometimes making me feel unsafe being in West Haven. Also the fact that I have no place to go when it rains gets annoying,” said Justin Cella. “Other than that it doesn’t affect me too much because I try not to bother those who don’t smoke to begin with.”

Students have also suggested that designated places would be helpful. Cella explained that something out of the way would accommodate both those who don’t want to be in the smoke as well as those smokers who do not want to be thrown off to someplace unsafe.