May 072008
 
Authors: Erik Myers

While Amanda Mozer hasn’t picked up a cigarette in some time, her smoky past has been driving her to action.

The senior business major said that since dropping the habit, she’s picked up interest in issues of tobacco around campus, becoming a co-coordinator for CSU’s Tobacco Task Force.

On Wednesday, the task force brought children, students and faculty together to unveil four smoker boundaries around the Gifford Building, each one featuring handprint paintings.

The Early Childhood Center had brought the issue to the task force’s attention after the complaints of smoking occurring near the center’s playground on the western side of the building.

“(The line is there) to remind smokers that there are other people around here who are affected by their habit,” Mozer said. “Cigarette butts were going into the playground. it was a concern.”

The group investigated smokers around Giffordton determining the area in which cigarette butts were being tossed, finding that many smokers never even noticed the “No Smoking” signs already in place.

To counter the problem, the task force worked with Facilities Management and Building Services to install a set of outdoor smoking receptacles right outside Gifford entrances. The task force also held a contest asking designers to submit “smoke-free zone” signs for use alongside the receptacles; the design created by Chris Martinez, a junior design and merchandising major, was chosen by the task force.

Lise Youngblade, head of the Department of human development and family studies, said that while many campuses faced their own issues when it came to smoking, the issue was particularly pressing for CSU, as young children were being exposed to it.

“We noticed a lot of cigarette butts that were outside the entrances, and those can be toxic for kids if they pick them up and stick them in their mouths,” Youngblade said. “Not to mention role modeling or being exposed to secondhand smoke.”

Youngblade added that she was pleased with the combined efforts of the campus community in putting the boundaries in place.

“This is a great community thing if you think about it; its kids, its families, its faculty, staff and students. we really appreciate the work everyone has put into this.” Youngblade said.

Mozer said she had been pleased that the task force’s hard work had paid off.

“It’s amazing to see something you’ve worked so hard on completed,” Mozer said. “To actually see this go down, to see the kids put down their handprints on, it’s impacted me positively.”

News Editor Erik Myers can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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