USI’s campus will begin to enforce a tobacco ban starting in July. While I understand that some students are offended by the smoke they have to walk through during their ten second hike to class, and I’m well aware of the dangers of smoking, I think the tobacco ban is, well, a bit ridiculous.
Because of the tobacco ban at USI, the students on campus that smoke will now have to alter their lifestyle and suffer physical discomfort for the benefit of a portion of students. Certainly, there has to be a happy medium that caters to both smokers and non-smokers, not just favoring a particular behavior deemed superior. Why not just impose a strict designated area for the smokers on campus? This solves both issues. The smokers have a place to smoke and those offended by cigarette smoke will know which path to avoid on their way to class. It has been suggested that one of the rules of this ban will be forbidding tobacco anywhere on campus with the exception of smoking in personal vehicles. However, what are students who smoke without vehicles supposed to do? I’m curious as to who will enforce this tobacco ban, anyway. Surely it won’t be my professor who frequently asks to borrow my lighter. That isn’t his job. Perhaps it will be campus security? Heaven knows they aren’t busy, I mean, they probably have a solid ten seconds between ensuring our safety and well-being to make sure nobody is puffing any of that evil stuff between classes. Smoking is unhealthy. Trust me, everyone is well aware of that fact, but forbidding a population of smokers on campus to stop smoking will not make smokers stop smoking, but rather just create a sense of resentment from students. As a smoker myself, I wouldn’t recommend the lifestyle, but the truth of the matter is students are going to do what they will and enforcing a tobacco ban will not open their eyes to a new way of life.The students who smoke on campus have to want to change their behaviors, but until then, they will keep on inhaling that sweet, sweet nicotine. Let’s face it: there are some tobacco users on campus who are addicted. As with any addict, the addiction sometimes takes priority. I foresee an increase in tardiness because students elected to smoke in their car before class, causing them to run late. In addition to tardiness, I anticipate some students to feel the effects of withdraw and create a sense of anxiety within them, causing them to lose concentration and focus in their classes. USI needs to be less discriminatory towards a population. Sure, a lifestyle of smoking is not favorable, but it happens. Smoking tobacco in designated areas will do nothing to cause harm to any other students or faculty but to the smoker themselves. It’s a perfect compromise for those who wish to smoke on campus, and those who do not wish to be around it. I sincerely hope that USI reconsiders their tobacco ban.