If there is one thing that I have made a promise to do (and have thus far kept) it is to not smoke. I plan to live a long, heart and lung disease-free life.
However, I cannot imagine a world where I need to share company or a classroom with someone who cannot be granted their ashy relaxer when much needed.
The UC system has recently put a ban on smoking on their campuses that will take effect over the next two years. Earlier last semester, the student organization, Campuses Organized and United for Good Health (COUGH), petitioned to ban smoking at CSUN.
The freedom to smoke should not be eliminated on our campus, but restricted to designated smoking areas or zones.
Now, you may ask why someone like me, who knows about the health risks associated with smoking, would support the cause to allow it to continue on campus.
Lung cancer, cardiovascular disease and emphysema are just a few of the many diseases connected to smoking. Second-hand smoking can cause just as many health risks and in many cases, can often kill.
No smokers, I am not preaching to you and I do not discriminate against your personal choice to smoke. I understand your dire need to take a chill pill in a stressful situation or even when you are just drunk. The habit is simple to understand – smoking is an addiction and those who choose to start the habit can find it extremely hard to end, even if they are aware of the health risks and make the decision on their own to quit.
This is not to say, however, that those who love their bodies and their health should be put at risk everywhere they go by those who choose to slowly kill their lungs. Instead of eliminating smoking completely, we should limit the negative effects by creating designated smoking areas around campus where he/she with a distaste for smoking knows not to enter.
Yes, I get it COUGH, none of you condone smoking and I’m sure it’s for reasons similar to mine: you enjoy living.
However, this zeal to clear our air favors one bad habit over another. Why is it that alcohol, a substance that can physically and mentally alter a person’s actions, something that can be much more dangerously abused, is allowed on campus? The Pub doesn’t serve hard liquor, but a beer can lead to another one and can lead to much worse than a cigarette.
No one on campus is telling the drinkers whether or not they can get inebriated, so why should someone tell the smokers how much they can smoke?
I would never want to put myself at risk of being next to a smoker in class after being refused a quick cigarette break. Have you ever been around someone who can’t have a much-needed cig?
I dare you to sit in a room full of student smokers who just came from a two-hour long lecture about microscopic organisms living in our backyards, been given 80 pages of reading over the weekend after they fought with their boyfriend or girlfriend and tell them not to have their regular substance which calms them down.
Go ahead and give me a call after your migraine has gone away from listening to their bitching and moaning.
As of right now, smoking is not allowed in buildings, state-owned vehicles or within 20 feet of campus buildings. I would not reject, as I’m sure smokers would concur, selected sectioned-off areas around campus where smoking is prohibited. Maybe smokers can make smoking friends there. It’s a win-win for everyone.
So, non-smokers, do me and yourselves and favor and think before pissing off the smokers. I wouldn’t want to be one of you in that situation.