TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — A smoking ban on Towson University’s campus was designed to clear the air for students and visitors. 

Gigi Barnett has more.

Since the beginning of the school year, Towson University has been smoke-free.  The university says the ban is a public health issue and is also designed to clean up the campus.

“Frankly between walking anywhere on campus or running into smoke [or] the litter left behind…this new policy addresses all of that,” said Towson Assistant Vice President Jerry Dieringer.

Students can still light up near campus on county-owned sidewalks, but some students say the puffs of smoke still linger.

“I’ve seen more smokers now because they all have to congregate toward one specific area,” said one student.  “What they wanted was for people to not walk through clouds of smoke.  It’s still happening.”

With more than 21,000 students, Towson is the state’s second-largest university.  In recent months, the university has passed out warnings and fines.  The university says the majority of students want the ban to stick.

“I know it’s difficult for some people to get along with that,” said a student.  “But it’s looking out for people’s health.”

Students caught smoking on campus may receive a $75 fine.  The university will use that money for “no smoking” signs.

Comments (38)
  1. Bernard Mc Kernan says:

    Good, like seat belt laws, it will save lives. Young people will gripe but in the years to come after they see the responsibilities ahead, have their own families, health issues arise they will see they’re not invincible. Sometimes we need the government to push us into this. Drinking & driving, talking on cell phones, fast food, snarky attitudes towards others are all bad for us.

    1. Clifford B. Badger says:

      Cigar anyone?

  2. D. Parloni says:

    It’s great that Towson can cut staff and faculty salaries…freeze salaries and lay people off…how about a new story on that?

    1. Deneiro says:

      I could not have said it better.

  3. Pat Marsh says:

    Bottom line: Smoking is an extremely nasty and invasive habit and if the product were to be invented/discovered today it would be at best a prescriptive drug and at worst a banned, illegal substance. It is not a protected right in our constitution and if you can find a way to light up without making me and others inhale the stench then I’m all for it! The most important point about smoking though is that smoking and obesity account for almost 70% of our health care drain and if people choose to smoke they should be accountable for those costs the same way that unsafe drivers pay higher insurance premiums.

  4. Nick says:

    You people complaining about ‘making me and others inhale the stench’ are ridiculous. People aren’t smoking inside, nor are smokers walking up to you and blowing it in your nose. If you don’t like it then walk around it!

    1. Elizabeth says:

      Spoken like a true smoker! PATHETIC!

    2. East Coast says:

      Smokers stink and they smell dirty and unclean. No amount of laundry detergent, shampoo or perfume can hide the fact that you REEK! Spend some time at a hospice where people are choking to death on lung tumors as they lay dying, maybe that’ll knock some sense into you. You all look like idiots with your cancer sticks in your mouths, smoking enough money to pay a car payment away a month. Hilarious, now stand out there and freeze! Oh and you can’t walk around it. It floats in the air and fouls the entire environment. Yuck! No one wants to walk behind your stink. Flatulence smells better.

    3. Cheryl Sherpinski says:

      I quit smoking a number of years ago and I can smell it on clothes when someone has been smoking and sits next to me!
      I can tell from the stench if a person DRIVING by me while I’m walking is a heavy smoker.
      Seattle, WA considers it child abuse/endangerment if you smoke while a child is in the vehicle or home.
      Companies require employees who smoke to pay so much a week because of the lost time!
      People who smoke, smell bad, endanger other peoples’ health and turn a 15 min break into a 1/2 hour break.

  5. DENEIRO says:

    Before the smoking ban the people who smoked did it all over the campus and the smoke was dispursed evenly now as you go around campus there are strong pockets of smoke that travels through the campus and the people who congragate to do this is incredible ,You have to walk around or through them, sometimes dangerously into the streets.You also get to see some of the people that handle your food on campus with there nicotene hands and still wearing the kitchen garb they wear while serving your food?Sometimes when i ride through campus i have to keep my windows closed not to enhale any smoke driving by one of these concentrated areas.People who smoke should be treated the same as a non-smoker. I myself am a non- smoker.

    1. academic whisper says:

      “…smoke was dispursed…” “…there nicotene hands…” “people who congragate…” “…not to enhale…” Seventh grade essay.

      1. DENEIRO says:

        So you took the time to correct my grammer and yet did not post a response concerning the topic at hand. Next time I need a proof reader I will contact you. I do wonder why you stopped at correcting just my opinion and not the rest?

    2. academic whisper says:

      “…correct my grammer…” Not your grammar, but your spelling. I have never heard it said that secondhand smoke dulls the mind.

      1. DENEIRO says:

        A proof reader corrects both. Thank you again. Secondhand smoke (in large quanities over time) can create health issues. Any illness can effect the mind whether physical or mental. I find the jab unfounded to the actual topic at hand. Would you walk into traffic to avoid walking through smokers or are you a smoker yourself?

  6. imperialcrab says:


  7. Nick says:

    I mean, ya smoking s bad, but whose to tell us we cant smoke? this is america. If i want a cig, ill damn well have one, and if towson, a university that recieves some state money, tries to restrict my right, ill see them in court on violation of privacy.First cigs, then alcohol, then our rights

    1. ethel says:

      TU did not say you can’t smoke.. they said you can’t smoke on THEIR property..If you don’t like it look for another school or get an apartment off campus and smoke as much as you want depending upon how quickly you want to kill yourself.

    2. Bernard Mc Kernan says:

      Hey Nick, Spend a little more time in the classroom, your grammar sucks just like your reasoning. This is America? Sure but there are consequences for every action.IDIOT.

  8. Buddog says:

    You lame people should just go ahead and rip up the 13th Amendment that officially ended slavery and put it back into law because that’s where we’re headed anyway, next thing you know we’ll need papers to travel from state to state like a communist country.

  9. moe green says:

    how does deputy chief charles herring have time to do his state job? take a look on the maryland judiciary case search site. he has to be in court some time. he has quite a private case load.

  10. Karen says:

    Perhaps,when the student smokers GROW up they’ll see the damage that was done to their bodies.I’m tired of having my taxes used in part to take care of those people that thiink it’s their RIGHT to smoke. Do I have a RIGHT not to support them when they are unable to work?I’m speaking from a front row seat, having 3 members die from various types of cancers that were directly related to smoking.And, guess what? I’m a former smoker ,myself!!So, don’t tell me I don’t understand.I did, and that’why I quit

  11. blah blah bla says:

    health care cost? People get sick, people die….weather it be from smoking or obesity or something else, they are still going to get sick and die and with that comes the health care cost. There are statistics that show smoking actually saves health care costs, due to the shortened life span of the smoker.

  12. Bernard Mc Kernan says:

    Wonder how many smokers, drinkers actually pay for health insurance or just let the taxpayer foot the bill.

  13. whatnow says:

    I would like to strangle everyone of these young smokers. I smoked for 28 years. I had to quit because it became way too expensive because they kept raising the price so the young ones wouldn’t start. Turns out I have spots on my brain and the nicotine had been protecting my brain (as they have learned by studying schizoprenhic (sp?) people). Now everyday is a torment of dizzyness and numbness even with all the medications they have me on which BTW as a side effect raised my blood pressure which was fine before I quit. I can’t go back to cigs, I used the money for a new car. But these little snot nosed darlings have their cigs and their college education and their forums. I hate them all.

  14. Bernard Mc Kernan says:

    Whatnow, You made a choice, albeit a stupid one. Now live with it.

    1. whatnow says:

      Live with it! Live with it! How would you like to walk around listing to the left and feeling like you are going to fall all the time. I am older. I started smoking at a time when all this information wasn’t out there and cigs were 50 cents a pack. You live with it you unfeeling azz. But have you been watching. The government started with cigs and now is already after transfats and sodium. Don’t come crying to me when the next thing they are after is something you like. I just love people who have never made a mistake!

      1. whatnow says:

        And Mr. McKernan, I believe your response qualifies as a “snarky attitude toward others” that you railed against in your first post. People in glass houses and all that!

  15. Bernard Mc Kernan says:

    Whatnow…….Shut your pie hole & stop complaining for your poor choices. I used to smoke, beat cancer, & heart bypass. I’m not complaining.

    1. academic whisper says:

      LMAO!!! “…snarky attitudes towards others are all bad for us.”

  16. Bernard Mc Kernan says:

    Academic whisper,….SMD!

    1. academic whisper says:


  17. whatnow says:

    I am allowed to complain because I am a citizen of the United States of America. And you sir, and I use that term loosely, are not the blog police so shove your holier than though attitude where the sun don’t shine. Is that snarky enough for ya!

  18. Bernard Mc Kernan says:

    Whatnow, U also can SMD. It tastes like nicotine.

  19. Bernard Mc Kernan says:

    Idiot Whatnow, you can complain because of the first amendment rights but with those rights come responsibilities & accountability. You should have thought of that before lighting up & I on the other hand can say with freedom………SMD!

  20. whatnow says:

    May I suggest anger management! Or better yet, go have a smoke dude!

  21. Bernard Mc Kernan says:

    Dude? who are U , John Wayne??? He died of nicotine a-hole.

  22. enough is enough says:

    “Sometimes we need the government to push us into this. Drinking & driving, talking on cell phones, fast food, snarky attitudes towards others are all bad for us.” So the government should control our lives basically. Sounds like you want a Socialist Republic, which is exactly what our country is turning into. I am not a cigarette smoker, but these smoke ban laws are not about health, they are about the money. The Government won’t stop until they control everything we do and enough is enough. Wake up and smell the coffee beans Bernard.

  23. Nick says:

    I love how they’ll ban smoking, yet colleges still have not attempted to curb the underage drinking that runs rampant at almost every college across the country. Focus on real issues people.

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