<p>Reading an old thread, I've just realized that it's possible to have people smoking in your dorm room?? This never occurred to me! Aren't schools afraid of lawsuits for second hand smoke? Maybe I've been sheltered when I went back to America on holiday because it's California? Who do you take this issue up with? And if you have to wait for financial aid packages, have you lost your chance for smoke-free housing? This would be a major concern for my D, and I can't believe I'm just realizing the problem might exist. Any input on the current state of affairs would be appreciated.</p>

<p>In MA, it is illegal to smoke inside public buildings. I think that applies to dorms. I know it applies to offices. Housing is not decided until late spring or summer in most places, so there is plenty of time AFTER admission and financial aid packages have been decided on.</p>

<p>That's good to know, marite, as D has received housing info from 2 places already, one safety where she's been admitted and one other saying we'll contact you again if you are admitted. It seemed early to me. Last time I was in the midwest, I was shocked to walk into smoky restaurants, years after CA was smoke free in public places. Anyone know about other states?</p>

<p>If she has been admitted to one place already, it makes sense to reserve housing now unless this is a real commitment to attending. Laws vary widely, and they are sometimes on a district by district basis (for example for restaurants), so it makes sense to enquire as soon as your child is admitted. I strongly suspect that MA and CA have some of the stricter laws regarding smoking.</p>

<p>I know friends at a college in md and everyone there smokes in the dorms (cigs, weed), esp. in the bathrooms. It is illegal to smoke in any public building etc. in md. one thing to remember is that even though there are laws, they arent always enforced.So, even if the dorm is smoke free, there may still be smoking going on. (And some people start in college)</p>

<p>It is actually an interesting issue. Colleges in Massachusetts and elsewhere have issued fiats, without any student input whatsoever, that the dorms are to be smokefree. (This, despite the fact that, from a health perspective - and with the exception of severe asthmatics, etc -- the health consequences are 20-40 years in the future.) Yet, when it comes to alcohol, where the legal penalties for possession of alcohol by a minor are more severe, and penalties for supplying alcohol to a minor severer still, the colleges turn a blind eye, and claim they can't do anything about it without massive student input, etc., this despite the fact that the health consequences are a clear and present danger.</p>

<p>From our extremely unscientific sample of visits to specific campuses, we witnessed smoking rates varying very widely. At Reed (and it was exam week), we found students huddled in every door way out of the rain smoking, and the student center (this was a year after Oregon had gone smokefree) reeked. My younger d., who is severely asthmatic, couldn't even go inside. (Now mind you, I'm sure the majority of Reedies DON'T smoke - we were just impressed by how many we saw who did.) At Williams, in contrast, we found exactly one cigarette butt on the entire campus (we thought it must have been placed there by maintenance), and saw no one with a cigarette in her/his hand. We did see some few smokers at Smith and at Yale, and one or two at Earlham. There were smokers at Evergreen when my d. was there, though she was in a botanical medicine program, and saw none there (we know they ingested various substances - that's what the program was about!)</p>

<p>Admittedly, I don't have a whole lot of experience with the dorms at a whole lot of other schools, but at my schools it's against rules to smoke in any of the dorms. I'm shocked that any schools allow smoking in the dorms. Come to think of it, I'm not totally sure that there's a building on campus in which we're allowed to smoke (I'm in NC). I live in the substance-free dorm, and so we aren't allowed to smoke at all, but even the students in other dorms aren't allowed to smoke in the rooms. In fact, our smoke alarms are so sensitive (supposedly steam from the showers set them off once last year) that I think that a person who did smoke in his or her room, he or she would only do it once.</p>

<p>Substance free dorm is an oxymoron. Kent State used to have smoking floors, but now all the dorms are non-smoking. It should be a personal preference issue. If you smoke, you should be able to do so in the PLACE THAT YOU LIVE! Some idiot liberals, want to make the whole campus non-smoking! Thank God I graduate in December.</p>

<p>mini: *Colleges in Massachusetts and elsewhere have issued fiats, without any student input whatsoever, that the dorms are to be smokefree. This, despite the fact that, from a health perspective - and with the exception of severe asthmatics, etc -- the health consequences are 20-40 years in the future.) *</p>

<p>Given the risk of fire from careless smokers (e.g., those who fall asleep while smoking, those who are not careful in disposing of smoking materials), there are some potentially lifethreatening and immediate health consequences of allowing smoking, especially in older dorms, which may be operating under "grandfather" clauses exempting them from current fire codes, sprinkler requirements, etc.</p>



<p>DS goes to Boston University. There is smoking still allowed in some dorm rooms. There is no smoking allowed in the public areas of the dorm or in the dining halls. Next year they will likely go with all non-smoking dorms.</p>

<p>With 1,400 alcohol-related deaths among 18-24 year-old students last year, 70,000 alcohol-related rapes, and 630,000 reported alcohol-related aassaults, the risks from smoking in dorms are very, very, VERY minimal. Not trying to defend it (I think smoking is disgusting). But it seems to me colleges are quite willing to ignore the laws when it suits them. </p>

<p>No one can end up being charged with a felony when they hand someone a cigarette.</p>


<p>I am surprised! We finally got a colleague to quit smoking inside his office because the smoke did travel down the corridor and through the ventilation system. </p>

You have a point, but I also think it is a matter of who gets hurt or merely irritated. If someone smokes, lots of people complain of being affected by the smoke or just plain annoyed. If somebody gets drunk, most people don't feel bothered.
As for the consequences of smoking being felt 30-40 years down the line, how right you are. My brother began smoking when he was 18. When he came to visit, he smoked up my house. Fortunately, it was summer, so we could open the windows! He laughed at my American obsession with health. He now has lung cancer (fortunately in remission). He's also been drinking for even longer (we kids were allowed watered wine with our meals on special occasions). He's never been drunk in his life.</p>

<p>Mini--why set it up as an either/or? Both are harmful. OTOH, it's possible for your roommate to drink responsibly, and it won't affect you. But if your roomie is smoking, you're going to be irritated and possibly health-affected every time you breathe. I think that's why that needs to be enforced. OTO*O*H--it's often true that the roomie's drinking habits can drive you nuts, too. That was true the one time one of my kids had a double. </p>

<p>Ultimately, I agree, drinking on campus needs to be better regulated, but why bring it up in an anti-smoking context?</p>

<p>Sorry, I didn't mean it as an either/or. </p>

<p>But it is interesting, to say the least, that the colleges don't see it as a "both/and".</p>

<p>I think what's at work here with the smoking vs. drinking 'policing' issue is the fact that far more college kids drink than smoke. It would be virtually impossible for college administrators to stop kids from consuming alcohol. Smoking is taboo in such a way that it is very different from drinking. Thinking just of my own circle of friends, not one of them smokes but virtually all of them enjoy a drink now and then. The younger generation certainly has more who smoke but even at that, the percentage is much smaller than those who drink. While having a roommate who drinks could be annoying (and even sometimes messy!), having one who smokes in the room and endangers your health with second-hand smoke as well as polluting your living space is far worse, in my opinion.</p>

<p>wel smoking is legal at 18, drinking isn't. My daughters school has an honor code and kids police themselves pretty much. As long as you aren't infringing on others rights you are left alone. A drink in commons with dinner is ok, torching couches in the quad isn't.
Smoking isn't allowed in most public places including buildings on campus.
In wa I hardly even know anyone who smokes outside anymore let alone inside. I do go into a shop in Belltown last week where I swear they had been smoking, the owner was a Brit, and its been my impression europeans haven't jumped on the no smoking bandwagon yet.</p>

<p>My daughter has found that even though smoking in the dorms is not allowed at her school, some people do. She was in a two bedroom suite last year where one of the girls smoked cigarettes and pot regularly. My daughter is asthmatic which was an added factor to her general unhappiness with the situation. One option was to involve the RA. My daughter decided to try to handle it herself. They worked it out with damp towels under the shared doorway and an open 70's....fortunately the culprit was not her actual roommate. I know that there are systems in place at all colleges to handle these things but many students hesitate to rock the boat by using them. I am glad that my D could work it out without getting ugly. Part of growing up is learning the fine art of negotiation. Was it a perfect solution in my eyes? Not really, but my daughter was the one who had to live there.</p>

<p>When I walked through the hallways of her dorm last year I did not smell smoke. I don't smell smoke in her dorm this year either. I think that the no smoking rule keeps smoking indoors to an absolute minimum but some kids just don't care about the rule. They aren't supposed to use candles or halogen lamps either and a few do. I suspect it is the same at every school.</p>

<p>When my daughter visited Reed she was very turned off by the amount of smoking going on. She's now at Rice, with very few smokers. The amount of smoking varies a lot at different colleges.</p>

<p>It's not only the health issues, it's also the smell. You know how it is when you're walking through a store and all of the sudden you smell the stench of cigarettes? That stuff doesn't just stay on smokers clothes, it will attach itself to anyones clothes that shares a room with a smoker. Yuck!</p>

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<p>This might be helpful to people to assess how prevalent smoking is in various states as well as state laws regarding smoking in public places</p>