Smoking Survey Results Announced
NMU President Les Wong announced the results of a recent online smoking survey at Thursday’s university forum, but said no decision has been made yet about whether to implement a campus-wide smoking ban. He said he will convene a small task force of faculty, staff and students to help determine the next step.
The survey netted more than 4,500 responses, with more than 80 percent coming from non-smoking students. About 54 percent of non-smokers supported a smoke-free policy for the entire campus, including parking lots and private vehicles. When the question was altered to exclude private vehicles from the ban, the results were virtually identical.
“I think my responsibility to the community was to truly try and get my arms around the sentiment of the campus regarding smoking,” Wong said. “The issue is about more than just smoking and regulating it. There’s the complicated issue of enforcement. I thought it would be a relatively simple thing, but I became a very good student and learned that there are a lot of nuances to this decision. I wanted to gather information rather than make it some sort of cavalier decision on my part.”
Wong said his office has received numerous calls and e-mails from members of the campus community about smoking near entrances and remnants left behind on the ground.
“I do remain very concerned about those aspects. I have a real egalitarian view of workers. I always find it a little presumptuous we would leave a mess of smoking byproducts for the facility staff to have to clean up. I don’t want to argue anyone’s right to smoke or be free from smoke. I’m just asking for responsibility and common respect for one another as we move through this process.”
Smoking at NMU must take place at least 30 feet from building entrances. Wong said he has asked Public Safety and Police Services to prepare a report on the policy’s enforcement as the task force begins to address the issue.
The detailed survey results can be found at Smoking Survey.