Stricter smoking ban is overzealous, unnecessary
Published: Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 16:09
ETSU’s smoking ban just became more strict, with more repercussions than before.
Though there are a number of non-smoking students and faculty who welcome the new enforcement, many see the most recent measures on campus smoking to be a bit overzealous and even arbitrary.
Many students who do not smoke also believe that there should have been a compromise, allowing areas for smokers to smoke freely and correctly dispose of their cigarette butts.
This is a notion that many students express, regardless if they smoke or not. This raises the question of how this will impact students who smoke, particularly students who come from lower-income working class families and may not have the money to pay the penalty.
Instead of reaching a compromise, the campus smoking ban will be even more strictly enforced this year.
This will not only be a waste of effort for proponents of the campus-wide tobacco ban, but an unfair rule that would most negatively affect working class students.
Instead of going about this arbitrary path of the overzealous anti-smoking crusader, why not allow smokers to have areas designated to dispose of cigarettes?
There are many answers to why this has not been introduced.
One of the most notable reasons the ban has prevailed is the very nature of anti-smoking measures in every university with similar rules, which discourages smoking by attaching negative, almost hateful stigmas to smokers and attempts to aggressively denounce their bad habits with an almost forceful discouragement.
Though smoking is indeed a bad habit that is detrimental to health, we should discourage the act of smoking, while allowing smokers to partake in their habits elsewhere, away from frequented walkways on campus. That way, smokers can continue their repulsive habit while being away from others.
It would be even better to help keep our campus cleaner by putting ashtrays scattered in different places across the campus.
Not only will students find the current system arbitrary, they will utterly refuse to comply and find other places to hoard cigarette butts.
These measures could help decrease smoking slightly, but it most likely won’t be significant. A little bit of logic and intuitive thinking would make no one assume this, considering that nicotine is nothing short of a legalized and highly addictive drug.
So it seems that non-compliance will be inevitable. It’s just a matter of what is stronger: student tobacco addiction or the enforcement of the non-smoking rules. We will have to wait to see how this all plays out on campus and how this impacts students and the campus in general.