|New smoking policy is unfair to students|
|Written by Chris Chipman, Columnist|
|Thursday, 24 January 2013 13:16|
The majority of us know about the new smoking ban ISU has now pushed onto all of its occupants, but let me explain it to those who may have not heard it.
The university has revised its tobacco use policy, so that it now prohibits all tobacco use on the Quad, areas around windows and ventilation, within 15 feet of an entrance to any building on campus and everywhere masses of people could populate.
The other day while walking through the Quad, I overheard a conversation two smokers were having with each other. They were complaining about the revision, arguing that the university was imposing its will on them, making them feel as if they are being forced to quit their habit.
I find myself agreeing with those two students on the Quad.
When I first received the email regarding the new policy, I felt a little conflicted. I understand the health concern, and this university definitely means well with the revision of this policy, but I believe the policy is punishing those who choose to smoke.
The smoking restrictions are too harsh. If somebody wants a cigarette, it is very difficult to find an area on this campus that permits cigarette use.
The punishment does not fit the crime.
Illinois smoking laws already prohibit smoking near public places. These laws should be efficient enough to prohibit second-hand smoking dangers, which is the sole argumentation for passing these laws in the first place.
With Illinois laws already promoting the health of non-smoking bystanders; the non-smoking policy is an unfair justification for the effort to promote public safety.
Maybe I feel this way because I grew up surrounded by smokers on my father’s side of my family. Personally I do not smoke, but I do not depreciate those who do smoke.
People are responsible for their own bodies, and who am I to tell somebody to stop smoking? Now that the Illinois laws protect non-smokers from any unnecessary complications due to second-hand smoke, smoking should not be considered such a social stigma.
I have heard people in the past try to convince others to stop smoking, while they themselves participate in other unhealthy habits like eating fast food or binge drinking on the weekends. It seems a bit hypocritical to me.
Imagine if ISU removed all of the fountain drinks in Watterson’s cafeteria besides water. Nearly all the fountain drinks in Watterson’s dining center are harmful to someone’s body because of the sheer amount of sugar contained within them.
Most people are not aware of the health consequences of drinking too much soda. I mean, my grandfather had to have kidney stones surgically removed as a result of his love for Pepsi. The only people being affected by the excessive consumption of soda are the ones drinking it, so it would be unfair for the university to do such a thing.
What I am trying to say is, if the general public’s health is already being protected under the state of Illinois, why are smokers facing more restrictions than the restrictions they already face on a daily basis? If the only people being affected are the ones who smoke, why does it matter?
If smoking doesn’t negatively affect anyone else but one singular person (in this state at least), I believe it is wrong to tell that person to discontinue a habit they engage in, even if it is unhealthy (granted he or she is old enough to understand the consequences).
If the habit is potentially fatal, like smoking, they will have to face the repercussions later in life, and I believe that the students here at this university are smart enough to understand that.