Complete smoking ban not necessary for campus

Hundreds of colleges throughout the country have adopted new rules making their campuses either 100 percent smoke-free, or corralling the smokers into sectioned-off areas like animals.

Fortunately our campus already has restrictions on smoking – don’t smoke within 25 feet of doorways – and this restriction is working just fine.

I’ve been smoking cigarettes since the age of 15. I haven’t enjoyed it since the age of 16. It’s been an added burden since I bought my first pack. I don’t enjoy it. I don’t know any smokers who do enjoy the habit. That being said, we still do it.

It’s called addiction. No one smokes for fun, or to intentionally  harm others or make them angry.

Second-hand smoke is not a big enough health risk on our campus to cause for a 100 percent smoke-free rule.

A complete smoking ban would only add unneeded stress to smokers’ lives. Smokers’ are also students and pay tuition to attend this school.

I’ve talked to non-smokers who wouldn’t want to completely ban smoking on campus for the simple fact it’s not fair to those who do smoke. Any penalty for smoking on campus would be completely unessecary.

Cigarettes are legal; people should be free to smoke them anywhere outside within reason and our vast campus is well within reason. A ban would just cause more smokers to smoke in their vehicles, which is probably worse.

The UW-Whitewater campus is too large to ban smoking on the premises; there is plenty of fresh air. The small percentage of smokers isn’t going to ruin that. There are enough sidewalks to walk around smokers without even catching a whiff.

Limiting smokers to a single designated smoking area or two isn’t enough either. The campus is too large. The whole outdoors should be a smoking area. People who use tobacco don’t want to walk half-way across campus to find relief in a cigarette.

Right after a tough exam, I walk out the door of a campus building and want to light up. Common courtesy enables me to walk 25 feet before I light a cigarette, but any further and I might just light it anyway.

Considering most of the time I walk around this campus there is no one within 25 feet of me the 25-foot rule works just fine.

Another reason the ban is uncalled for is because it would also affect teachers who use tobacco. Imagine being at work all day and not being able to step outside and have a cigarette during your break.

Other schools have started student groups that go around politley asking smokers to put out cigarettes, while handing them information about quitting.
This approach may work in some cases depending on the individual, but being polite isn’t going to make people quit.

The 25-foot distance, which can often be a rough estimate, is a good standard to have. I have never seen anyone smoking right in front of a doorway or anyone abusing this rule.

Everyone knows the dangers of smoking. The warnings are printed right on the pack. Unfortunately, this doesn’t make them illegal, so people should be free to light up anywhere outdoors within reason, and our vast campus is well within reason.

There is not one valid reason to completely ban smoking on campus. Using cigarettes is a personal choice, and a bad one at that. But, if someone chooses to ruin their own health it’s up to them. Our campus is big enough for cigarette bashers to avoid any second-hand smoke caused by smokers.

With the new concealed and carry law in effect on campus, cigarettes should be the least of people’s worries.

If students can now carry concealed weapons while walking around campus they should be able to carry a lit cigarette.

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