Campus to remain smoker friendly after Benbrook ban

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    Despite an upcoming smoking ban in Benbrook, TCU remains smoker friendly, although the university has considered a smoking ban in the past, said the assistant dean of campus life for health promotions.A new city ordinance in Benbrook, effective today, forbids smokers in the southern Tarrant County suburb to light up within 25 feet of any building in town, except their homes.

    While TCU has considered a smoking ban in the past, the university remains smoker friendly, said Laura Crawley, assistant dean of campus life for health promotions.

    “TCU, like other colleges and universities, has indeed asked the question about whether the campus should be smoke-free,” Crawley said. “To my knowledge, TCU has not implemented a smoking ban campuswide, but has made offices and classrooms nonsmoking.”

    Crawley said smoking has continued to be an issue on campus, and until several years ago, students were allowed to smoke in the residence halls if the window was open, and all roommates were OK with it. In fall 1997, smoking was outlawed in dorms.

    “At this time, no smoking is allowed in the dorms, any other campus buildings, or in university-owned vehicles,” Crawley said. “Smokers have to go outside. In some cases, they must be a set distance from the doors.”

    Crawley said there should be more done for the health of smokers and those exposed to second-hand smoke.

    “The campus should be smoke-free,” Crawley said. “‘Sadler Mall’ is being known less and less by that name and more frequently called ‘the smokers’ patio,’ and it is driving some nonsmokers elsewhere who would otherwise relax or have lunch out there.”

    Chris Maunder, owner of a local Berry Street bar, The Moon, said he thinks a citywide non-smoking ordinance would affect his business.

    “Smokers are adamant about smoking when they want,” Maunder said. “If they cannot smoke in a certain place, they will go somewhere where they can.”

    Chris Josephson, a senior radio-TV-film major and smoker, said he thinks city ordinances against smoking are somewhat unfair.

    “I don’t really have a problem with the smoking bans,” Josephson said. “It’s OK if they pertain to restaurants and public buildings, but when they start telling me where I have to stand to smoke when I’m already outside, or ban it in bars then I get upset.”

    Erin Donovan, a graduate geology student and nonsmoker, said smoking on campus isn’t really a problem, but in bars it is a different story.

    “The number of smokers on campus isn’t that great,” Donovan said. “So that doesn’t bother me. It’s when I go out to the bars that it is a problem.”

    Donovan said smoky bars are to be expected, but they can be a little much for her taste.

    “When I go to a bar, it is expected to be smoky,” Donovan said. “I don’t necessarily like having to get the smoke smell out of my clothes, but it just comes with the territory.