“I cannot make them stop smoking there, and they are just too careless,” said Lee Sae-im (Journalism, 1). “It is no different from smoking on the streets. I’m secondhand smoking every day.”
Smoking and non-smoking students are increasingly in conflict over smoking areas.
Since there are no designated smoking spots on campus, students simply find “appropriate” places to light up.
Janitors put out aluminum cans as ashtrays where large numbers of smokers gather, such as under the so-called
“smoking tree” in front of the Ewha-POSCO Building, which almost makes them official smoking areas.
Non-smokers are offended by fumes in public spaces. The areas in front of Ewha Sarang at the Ewha-POSCO Building and outside the front door of the Ewha-Shinsegae Building are among the most notorious.
“At busy times in between classes a lot of students have to pass by the Ewha-Shinsegae Building, and there is always a group of students smoking outside,” Park So-hyun (International Studies, 2) said.
Some students who smoke outside on campus unintentionally affect the ones in buildings. For example, at the Pharmaceutical Science Building, cigarette smoke seeps through windows and vents into classrooms on the first floor, which is slightly lower than ground level outside.
The school’s smoking policy is confusing for smokers as well. Students are allowed to smoke anywhere on campus except for in special non-smoking areas, which include the Ewha Campus Complex valley and any of the wooded areas on campus due to fire safety issue. However, since there are no designated smoking areas, smokers may light up anywhere outside and feel guilty as a result.
“I have to smoke regularly but I don’t know where I can smoke without affecting non-smokers,” said a student who wished to stay anonymous. “I often smoke in front of Ewha Sarang. But between classes there are just too many people, so I gave up since I had no place to go.”
“I hope the school provides a smoking area where smokers can smoke carefree. I feel guilty smoking in front of non smoking students who are passing by even if it is legal to smoke outside on campus.”
Some students even smoke in classrooms or in toilets.
The school currently does not have a specific smoking area. With the exception of some particular buildings, the woods, and inside of buildings including the ECC valley, smoking is allowed on the entire campus. The ECC valley is treated as a building when it comes to smoking since it is in between two buildings where the air is not well ventilated.
The school does not plan to assign a smoking area either.
“The school has no plans as of yet, but will increase the number of specific non-smoking areas such as the woods or outside of buildings with flammable chemicals like the Pharmaceutical Science Building,” said Kim Hye-kyung, a staff at the Office of General Administration.
In contrast to Ewha, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies designates smoking areas on the rooftops of buildings around campus so non-smokers do not have to walk by smokers on campus, and smokers do not have to wander around to find a place to smoke.