The best part of my day is when I get done with my last class of the day, step outside and light that first cigarette of the day. It’s my victory dance for the end of the day; it helps me unwind and relax after the long school day. When I am in the middle of studying or doing my homework it really helps for me to go outside and take a quick cigarette break. But not anymore.

Smoking on campus was banned late last week. Now students, employees, and faculty face a $250 fine for a FIRST offense for being caught smoking cigarettes on campus. Not for smoking an illegal drug, but tobacco, a perfectly legal product. To say many people are upset is a vast understatement. It is a state law but the 14 state colleges expanded it to cover the entire campus. Not only is this unfair to students who pay to live here but also the workers in food service now have to walk off campus on their breaks.

I fear this new law is a slippery slope. What is next? Have you eaten some of the food on campus? Many of the foods are very fatty and unhealthy. I myself have been hospitalized for food poisoning from the Commons. Some people don’t go to the rec center even though it helps their health. Will they have mandatory rec times? I know it seems extreme but I fear this whenever individual liberties are threatened. I feel whenever the government makes these types of laws it sees society as unable to make its own decisions.

This problem won’t be solved overnight but for now I believe a fair compromise would be smoking in ┬ádesignated areas. But regardless I smoke a pack and a half a day and I have no intention of quitting.

Andrew Hill