Sophomores Spencer Rickman and Andrew Dong enjoy each other’s company whilst smoking pipe tobacco.
Photo courtesy of Spencer Rickman

Contrary to the presumption that with a non-smoking campus comes non-smoking students, APU houses a smoking culture that is unseen to many. This is largely due to the negative connotation that smoking has throughout campus.

Some students agree that APU should continue being a non-smoking campus due to the health risks and discomfort level of other students.

“I like that people aren’t always smoking around me because I know many people that hate the smell of tobacco smoke,” said sophomore theology major Spencer Rickman, who smokes pipe tobacco.

A junior English major who wished to remain anonymous said that although smoking is a health risk, the no-smoking rule encourages people to shun smokers.

“I know people who smoke who are amazing students, but it’s a habit that they picked up in the past and have continued doing,” she said. “Smokers just tend to get a really bad reputation, and people assume the worst of you.”

The English major argued that students who smoke are excluded from the community.

“Smoking obviously has a bad reputation because it is unhealthy and addicting,” she said. “At the same time, we are a campus of love and care for one another, where we shouldn’t be judgmental. When people around me say, ‘Oh, I hate smokers,’ I don’t speak up because I don’t feel like I can.”

However, this is not the case with all smokers.

“Because not a lot of people smoke at APU, when I do find people that do smoke, it’s not a huge deal,” Rickman said. “Being a smoker hasn’t affected me that much.”