Smokers need designated areas
Published: Sunday, February 3, 2013
Updated: Sunday, February 3, 2013 23:02
So, the “smoking ban” is once again making its rounds through the student rumor mill. Talks of fines being issued to students caught using tobacco on campus are being circulated as though it might actually happen this time, as if this may turn into policy despite having never gone over well before.
Interestingly enough, there may be something substantive to the rumor this time around. While I am sure there are other trouble spots around campus, most will be familiar with the example of Rogers-Stout Hall. For those who have classes elsewhere or simply never use the Rogers-Stout door facing the library, there is a lovely staircase that is seemingly under constant cloud cover. This is because practically nobody uses this staircase except for smokers.
The issue is that you must walk right past the tobacco haze to enter the building.
The proposed solution to this is that fines may be issued to students, and presumably faculty, who are caught using tobacco products outside of designated areas, i.e., your personal vehicle.
I happen to detest the smell of cigarette smoke, and while the fines would likely be reasonable, I do not see this as a feasible solution.
Who will enforce this? I’m sure public safety could issue these citations if they are bored, but I would like to think that they have more important things to do than harass people for smoking. I suppose faculty and staff members could be given the power to issue write-ups to be taken to whatever ETSU judiciary body will handle these charges, but this seems all too similar to primary school. I highly doubt that students would take this seriously, and I can’t say that I would blame them.
Look, we respect people’s rights to do all sorts of crazy things. Sky-diving can hardly be said to have any significant health benefits, but nobody in their right mind would restrict your choice to do so if you want to (I want to go sky diving).
The same applies to smoking.
“But wait!” you say, “sky diving cannot hurt anyone other than the person who chose to jump from the plan! Second-hand smoke is dangerous to those other than the smoker!” Yes, you are very correct, which is why this smoking ban issue keeps coming up.
If you are truly concerned with your own health and not keeping someone from making a poor decision that they are well within their right to make, then let’s take the most feasible approach to solving the issue: Give smokers an enclosed and clearly designated place to smoke.
If you object to this, it is likely that you are more concerned with forcing others to make decisions that you want them to make rather than your own health.