NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– The college is now the first public campus in the state to become smoke free. Gateway joins nearly 1200 smoke-free campuses nationwide 811 of those tobacco free.
This as Senator Chris Murphy makes a push for all state universities and colleges to become smoke-free campuses.
A few puffs before class. Gateway Community College would like to make this a rare sighting.
“It doesn’t really affect me that much because I don’t really smoke anymore,” said Kyle Berg, Gateway Community College.
“I try not to stand right in front of the door but at the same time I’m pressed for time and I have to have a quick smoke and get in their quick,” said William Mauhs, Gateway Community College Student.
“We were the first college to be completely smoke free,” said Evelyn Gard, Dir. of Public Affairs.
Meant to provide a healthier environment for students and staff.
“We do have ash trays far away from the building. We haven’t had any trouble. People understand,” said Gard.
The school even put up signs saying no smoking within 25 feet of an entrance, but the smokers News 8 spoke to say it’s not fair.
“I can understand that we don’t want to greet people to the college smelling cigarette smoke but I think there’s got to be balance. Even though we’re smokers. We are paying our tuition here,”said Mauhs.
“At the end of the day the argument is kind of shallow because if it didn’t hurt anybody else, you’re free to do what you want but it does. So we have to protect the larger community,” said Gard.
There were dozens lighting up right in front of the doors.
“We’re not trying to be the devastating smoking police but we do go out. We have them go out in shifts and they do remind people you have to move on,” said Gard.
Something one former smoker appreciates. Out of sight. Out of mind.
“Not seeing people smoke as much kind of not getting a crave for it so,” said Berg.
Gateway joins more than 1,000 smoke free schools in the nation. They’re hoping they’ve opened the gate for other schools to follow suit.
Senator Chris Murphy was in Hartford Thursday making a push for college presidents across the state to jump on the band wagon with Gateway to adopt tobacco free policies.
Officials at both Southern and Central Connecticut State University say they’ve been talking about becoming smoke-free for years but no moves have yet been made.