Designating a smoking area
Designating a smoking area
  • Ewha Voice
  • 승인 2007.11.05 00:00
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 As smoking is known to be bad for health, some universities have taken steps to discourage smoking. On September 26,Konkuk University announced that it would give priority in admissions to nonsmoking students, beginning this year, by giving nonsmoking applicants extra points when they have the same Korean SAT score as smokers. Also, Soongsil University is planning to give a scholarship worth 300,000 won to students who successfully quit smoking, beginning this semester.

However, as of now, Ewha has no plans to discourage the use of tobacco products inside campus; though it designated the school buildings as non-smoking areas last year. “We do not have any alternative plans to ban smoking outside the buildings because it is likely have little impact on the smoking students. Even if we specify a more limited area as a smoking zone, it is difficult for us to supervise every smoking place and to force guests who come to Ewha not to smoke. In this regard, the school does not have any legal enforcement policy about smoking outside the buildings,” said Kim Yong-wan, chief of the Office of the General Affairs.

The University Health Service Center (HSC) is trying to encourage students to quit smoking, but it seems that most smoking students are not interested. Kim Joo-yeong, the head of the Health Service Center, says, “From September, we have tried to recruit students to participate in a no-smoking clinic which will be operated by the Seodaemoon-gu Health Service Center, but no one has actually applied for it. The low participation in the no-smoking clinic may be because smoking students are not interested. If there are any calls for the no-smoking center from students, we will help them quit smoking. Interaction between the school and the students is really important to solve the smoking problem.”

Many nonsmoking students, however, are bothered by cigarette smoke while walking to class or leaving buildings. “Whenever I pass by students smoking in front of a building, I feel really bad because it feels like my health being threatened by them,” said a Liberal Arts student who wishes to remain anonymous.

In addition to the students who do not smoke, the campus environment also has become one of the victims of smoking on campus. For example, in the Shipjaro, the crossroads located in front of Humanities Building A, lots of students around to talk, study, and smoke. Even with two trash cans nearby, most of the smoking students throw their cigarette butts on the ground after smoking.

 The area in front of the Ewha-Posco Building is another place considered a smoking area to most Ewha students, even though it is not officially designated as such. Although there are several ashtrays in that area, the place is not clean. “We placed the ashtrays there for the sake of cleanliness because there were so many cigarette butts. However, some of the smoking students still throw their cigarette butts on the ground rather than putting them in the ashtrays,” said Hwang Keum-soon, a janitor at the Ewha-Posco building.

Because of these inconveniences, calls for designating a more limited smoking area on campus are increasing. According to a survey conducted by the Ewha Voice, 104 out of 162 students (64 percent) said that there should be a designated smoking area inside campus. Another 53 students (33 percent) yearned for a smoke-free campus where smoking is prohibited within the whole campus and only 5 students (3 percent) said that it does not matter if students smoke anywhere on campus.

Those students said that smoking should be prohibited within the entire campus area cited avoiding second hand smoking and a better campus environment as their reasons. The main reasons students gave for wanting designated smoking areas were because they thought it would be more realistic than making the whole campus smoke-free and to protect the smokers’ rights.

On the other hand, smoking students believe that there should be smoking zones inside the campus buildings as well. “As there are smoking rooms in theaters, I hope that school buildings will also have the same area to protect smokers’ rights,” said one history major, who wishes to remain anonymous. “A toilet just for smokers would be a good idea because many smoking students feel inconvenienced by the buildings where smoking is forbidden. Even smoking rooms inside the building will not be harmful to nonsmoking students if they are well operated,” she added.


By Kim A-hyun

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