Is Syracuse University's Smoke-Free Campus Policy Really Working?

SYRACUSE N.Y. -- Since July 1, Syracuse University has been entirely tobacco-free. It's one of the first signs you'll see on campus, and it's a welcome change for some students who were unhappy with those lighting up around them.

"I'll be honest with you, everywhere you went it kinda of smelled like smoke, and when you're walking around and trying to get from class to class, that's not the best thing to be inhaling," said senior John Paul Chunga.

Cigars, cigarettes and e-cigarettes are just some of the items banned. University officials say the change was necessary to create a healthier environment and so far, students say the policy seems to be working. 

"I haven't a lot of people smoking currently. I know they opened up some programs to help people get used to quitting, which I think is really great, so I haven't seen much on campus right now. I'm not sure if that's because it is kicking in or maybe just a health kick in general," explained senior Frieda Projansky.

Some students we spoke to though say they're surprised it took this long to implement the new policy.

"Since 7th grade, you've been hearing about the fact that smoking is bad. Now you get to college and all of a sudden you can smoke on campus. Being a private institution, you would think they would be ahead of the curve on that," Chunga said.

"I can see Syracuse kind of being a leader especially with all our health programs that we have here and how important physical health is to us here on campus, so I think it does fit in with our schools mission," Projansky said.

As for what happens if someone is caught violating the policy, university officials say disciplinary action will be taken.

Orange Nation fans won't immediately have to put out their cigarettes though. The policy will be phased in at the Carrier Dome in 2017.

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