The designated smoking areas need to be relocated from the current areas because they reside directly outside building entrances, forcing non-smokers to be victims of second-hand smoke.
The conscious decision that smokers make to light up is not only affecting them, but their classmates.
The World Health Organization website states, “Second hand smoke causes 600,000 premature deaths per year.”
Besides the exposure to carcinogens and rat poison, there is also the concern about the harm this smoke can cause to people with asthma and allergies. The apprehension of possibly having an asthma attack by walking outside and receiving a warm welcome of smoke is inconvenient.
According to the Bill of Rights, each citizen has inalienable rights, which include the pursuit of happiness, so long as it does not infringe upon the rights and liberties of others. Does smoking violate these rights? Smokers have a right to smoke, but non-smokers have a right to be free of second-hand smoke.
“You’re not a smoker and you just get a whiff of second-hand smoke it’s a little aggravating, but I understand people are going to smoke,” sophomore Tyler Wheeler said.
However, smoking locations cannot be obliterated, nor should they.
Smoker and sophomore James Childress said, “[non-smokers] don’t want to smell [the smoke] and I get that… I don’t think it’s right necessarily [to] completely cut it out. People have the right to choose.”
Smoking students and faculty have the right to smoke and are allowed to do so in these areas. Unfortunately, if a person were to smoke outside of these areas for moral or convenience reasons, law enforcement would take action to move smokers to the areas that are set up for smoking.
These areas are assigned so that second-hand smoke is not an issue, but they are not working. These areas are hazardous to the people who have a loving relationship with breathing.
If the issue is to be resolved, it might be beneficial to have separate islands for smokers that have access to surrounding motes covered by a large dome with an opening on top so that the smoke is contained in that environment. It is a win-win situation. The smoke is generally contained without much wind interference, making non-smokers happy.
Freshman Tavia Edwards said, “You don’t want people to find secret ways, you know endanger people.”
The next smoking area should be carefully inspected to limit any possible issues.
Fires and smoke will one day be a thing of the past with the new craze of water vapor cigarettes. With the cost of books and gas, water vapor nicotine dispensers are probably not in the near future since they are relatively expensive.
Administrators should consider new locations for smokers. The issue is not how to convert smokers to non-smokers or pillage their lands; it is all about location. Let smokers have their own domain, but let it not be at the cost of those around them.
A.J. is a sophomore and a Communication major