Is it too much for me to ask to be able to walk out of my dorm building without having to hold my breath? I know smoking is legal. Everyone has his or her own right to smoke. But let’s be real: For us nonsmokers, it’s just a huge inconvenience. Although I’m not completely in favor of a full campus-wide smoking ban, something has to be done.
If people actually followed the rules, I wouldn’t be so offended by the constant cloud I must navigate through every time I enter or exit my building. Right now, the rule mandates that those who smoke must do so 25 feet away from every building on campus. While I can only speak from my own personal experience, this is not the case in College-in-the-Woods, where I live. The social smokers are constantly directly in front of the building.
Cigarette smoke irritates me the most. I don’t have to breathe in mucky air from those smoking hookah, and most people have the decency to smoke pot in the woods away from everyone else. So pretty much that just leaves me to disdain the cigarette smokers of CIW.
There’s a chance that this won’t be a problem for that much longer. The SUNY Board of Trustees has approved a SUNY-wide smoking ban that will go into effect this coming January if state legislation is passed supporting the ban. The board intends for the ban to better the health of students, believing that it will cause people to quit.
Let’s be honest: It’s just not going to work. On the one hand, people can just go off campus to smoke. On the other hand, we all know people will smoke on campus anyway.
I think a better plan would be to create designated smoking areas. Would that be even more inconvenient for smokers? Well, yeah. But, that’s kind of the point. I don’t really feel bad at all enforcing a rule in which students and faculty are not allowed to smoke in front of buildings, and have to go out of their way to smoke. If it becomes such a big inconvenience, then maybe they should just quit smoking.
Everyone knows smoking is bad. It’s just a fact. There’s no need to say it any other way. Smoking will eventually lead to health problems; even a smoker can admit that. I do not believe there is anything wrong with Binghamton University enforcing rules that inconvenience smokers more.
There’s also something to say about the secondhand smoke piece to this issue. While other unhealthy behaviors only affect the person performing that behavior, smoking can affect innocent bystanders. I’m not trying to say I’m going to die of lung cancer in 20 years because of the obnoxious smokers in front of my dorm building my freshman year of college, but it’s still offensive to those around smokers.
Although every student has the legal right to smoke, that doesn’t mean he or she has to have the right to smoke on campus. There are legal rights you obtain as a citizen, and then there are others you have as a student at BU. I don’t believe smoking should be one of the rights shared between the two.