By Aakriti Gupta
Elm Staff Writer
Imagine a campus with no coffee machines in the Dining Hall or no Java George for your early morning caffine pickups before you get your sleep-deprived self to an early morning class. One cup of coffee will give you the energy and the rush to keep you up to finish the assignment is all that is required. Even though you promised yourself to not leave an assignment until the last moment, you find yourself sitting in the library, trying to finish an assignment due at 11:59 pm, an hour away from now, and you are just halfway into it. Now imagine that the Miller Library has no café. Well, being a smoker, I would feel a similar panic if this campus became smoke-free. When I wake up, my stimulant is a cigarette and not caffeine. When I am studying and need a break to bring myself up, it is the nicotine rush that helps me.
Many will argue that smoking is unhealthy; of course it is and it is not a habit that I am proud of. The Dining Hall hasn’t stopped serving us fries or onion rings everyday without fail, because do not see people petitioning to make this campus french fry-, pizza-, burgers-, and soda-free, even though these are not healthy either.
Smoking on this campus should be banned if it is practiced unethically. Think of a situation where you walk out of a building and suddenly someone blows smoke in your face purposely. If that has happened to you more than once, then it is fair on your part to petition for a smoke-free campus as this act violates the clause of smoking 25-feet distance from buildings, as well as basic human ethics.
If someday you walk into your room and see your roommate, who is aware of the school rules, smoking in the room because she has found a way to fool the smoke detector, then I personally ask you to petition to make this campus smoke free. To make this campus smoke-free because a person is walking down the sidewalk smoking a cigarette, and you happen to cross her and are afraid that all that smoke might cause lung cancer doesn’t qualify asking for a smoke-free campus.
One of the reasons the administration may want the campus to be smoke-free is because not many people follow the 25-feet rule, which states that all smokers must smoke 25-feet away from buildings. The reason why people commonly don’t follow it is because the benches and ashtrays are placed right outside the buildings. Both of these pose quite an invitation to come sit and smoke there. The 25-feet rule can be seen being practiced by smokers if the benches and the ashtrays are placed 25-feet away from building instead of three feet.
Making the campus smoke-free wont really reduce the number of smokers on campus or increase the number of law-abiding smokers. If the campus is made smoke-free, people will still smoke but now they’ll perform the act illegally. By enforcing this law, rebellion from the smokers on this campus would be unavoidable. Making laws which are practical will increase the number of law-abiding smokers and hence provide favorable outcomes.