Monday, March 28, 2011

Did you say "tobacco-free campus?"

UMaine has recently converted to a tobacco-free campus.  Right now, the initiative is not compulsory, but students are being encouraged to quit smoking now before the initiative starts to be strictly enforced.  Before this tobacco in the residence halls was already not allowed, so that hasn't really changed much.  However, it appears that some of the residents in Cumberland don't seem to get the message.  

Last Tuesday I came across a group of guys playing poker in the lounge.  Figuring they weren't really doing anything wrong, I didn't bother to check in on them.  

My mistake.

It was later brought to my attention that these particular residents were not only playing poker, but chewing tobacco as well.  How did I find this out?  One of my residents came to inform me that they left their spit bottles in the lounge with tobacco juice in there.  Now, UMaine isn't simply "smoke-free;" it's tobacco-free, which includes dipping.  

The issue I have with it is not related to the tobacco-free initiative.  I am having trouble understanding why these particular residents left their spit bottles lying around, especially in a study lounge that they don't usually utilize.

So what does an RA do in this situation?  I'm thinking I'll start by making up posters to hang in the study lounges, explaining why chewing tobacco in public areas is not allowed.  If the problem persists, I think we'll have to crack down harder on these dippers.


  1. I really like the idea of having a tobacco-free campus. I'm allergic to cigarette smoke so its the worst when I'm walking to my morning class and am stuck behind someone who is smoking.
    As for the guys leaving their spit bottles in the lounge...that is just inconsiderate. It really bugs me when people abuse places/rooms that they share with everyone else, especially the bathroom!
    Making posters seems like a good way to make sure everyone is aware of the rules about tobacco.

  2. I agree with Julie, its the worst getting stuck behind someone that is smoking while walking to class. I'm not allergic or anything it just smells very bad and makes me nauseous.

    What bothered me about the guys playing poker is that they weren't from the floor they were just hanging out in the lounge being loud so people that live on the floor couldn't go in there to actually study and do homework. What was worse is that they left their nasty spit bottles in there. The lounge isn't their own personal room to leave dirty disgusting stuff in. This is going to be a tobacco-free campus, which means no chewing tobacco either. I think there should be posters about that too.

  3. I didn't realize that campus was tobacco-free as well. I find chewing SO disgusting and I'm glad that you are trying to come up with some ideas to make sure it is not going on in public areas on campus. I know it is nearing the end of the semester, but maybe next year or in the next couple of weeks you could make an informational bulletin about what tobacco can do to your mouth and your lungs. I know that, for some people, knowing that you see this stuff happening can be enough for them to think twice about leaving their trash around.