Smoking on campus: It’s complicated

As college students, we all love those days when the weather is beautiful and we’re not dreading class (for once). Then all of a

Not a very healthy habit. Photo by Sydney Crawson.

sudden, your face is engulfed with a cloud of smoke. I don’t know about you, but nothing puts me in a bad mood faster than sucking in a giant breath of cigarette smoke. Of course students have the right to do what they want with their body; I’m not telling anyone to stop smoking. However, I find it rude to puff away on a busy walkway, especially during class changes. Waiting a few minutes to smoke away from a crowd would be the best idea.

Last year there was even a movement to ban students and faculty from smoking on campus. Of course, the plan failed due to the amount of smokers on campus–but the idea of designated smoking areas doesn’t seem too bad.

There is a “rule” around campus that you can’t smoke unless you’re at least 25 feet from the building. I see very few people abiding by this policy. I can’t count the number of times I’ve walked outside of a building and then straight into a smoke cloud produced by someone walking by me.

Not a cheap habit either. Photo by Bria Benner.

Of course, there’s another side to this debate. The people who don’t think it should be allowed on campus are not very courteous or respectful of smokers’ rights. You may not agree with where they’re smoking, but the rules say they’re able to do as they please. Walking by someone who is smoking and ostentatiously beginning to cough is very rude and inappropriate. Even as someone who hates cigarette smoke, I think it’s immature. As a university, there will always be ideas that may better the campus but cause an inconvenience to other people.

The idea of banning smoking on campus seemed like a good idea at the time, and may still seem like a viable solution. If a student chooses to smoke, they have every right. As a university, we shouldn’t shun or judge our community members for their life choices. Why treat a smoking stranger differently from your smoker friends? In the end, smoking will always be around on campus. There is just no way around it. The best thing to do is carry on with your day respecting the choices of others.