Smoking Ban

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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  designated areas. But regardless I smoke a pack and a half a day and I have no intention of quitting.

Andrew Hill

Comments

comments

36 COMMENTS

  1. Wow, i never realized how passionate some people are about smoking. Well thought out response.

  2. As a pack-a-day smoker, I am definitely biased on this issue. Though I do agree that smoking should not be done around entrances of public buildings, I also believe that I should be allowed to smoke on campus, even if it is in a designated area. I do not want to impose on people who have a tobacco free lifestyle, just as I do not want people to impose on my tobacco-laced lifestyle. Just give me a place to smoke that I dont have to travel great lengths to, a place to dispose of my butt, and freedom from persecution.

  3. to me its not a big deal because i dont smoke. i can completely understand where people are coming from though. and even if someone is smoking a cigarette, what are they going to do? give them a ticket? all people are going to do is not give their names to the enforcers of this and say they have no id to prove who they are

  4. As far as I am concerned…If I’m paying $5000 + fees a year to attend this school, I should be able to smoke where I please. ( Of course following obvious basic ethic principles such as not smoking by main entrances,etc.). As a smoker, not only do I enjoy lighting up directly after a long monotonous class, I also enjoy the conversations I have with fellow tobacco lovers.
    It’s hard enough finding intelligent dialogue on campus…I don’t need to be tortured.

  5. I feel that the universities are stepping beyond the boundaries of the actually Clean Indoor Air Act. No where in the act does is say anything about smoking outside. I think the whole situation could be solved if there was a specific smoking area on campus. Smokers are now leaving campus, and risking their safety. Would anyone feel safe smoking off campus since the mugging has occurred at the UniMart? I sure wouldn’t.

  6. I think the Clean Indoor Air Act is a great idea, particularly in the public places such as restaurants. Now we will not have to worry about where we want to sit, smoking or non-smoking. The air will be clean anywhere we go. However, I do see Andrew’s point of view and it really isn’t fair for the state to tell people where they can and can’t smoke. As long as the smokers stay in designated areas, then I have no problem with smoking on campus.

  7. I agree about having a designated smoking area, away from where people have to walk between classes. Since the ban, people have started smoking behind the dorms so that the smoke travels up into our dorm rooms (which was never an issue before). There definitely should not be smoking, though, between the academic buildings, or in the quad during class hours. I should be able to walk to class without having to breathe somebody else’s trail of smoke. Smokers say they have the right to smoke since tobacco is legal, but it is my right to not want their secondhand smoke in my lungs. My choice not to smoke doesn’t affect anybody else’s health. I do think that they should have forewarned people before the ban, but I’m pretty sure people are not getting fined yet.

  8. I am not a smoker myself, but i don’t particularly agree with this smoking ban everywhere on campus, there should be designated areas around campus where people could smoke if they wanted to. Lets be honest, even if the police are giving out fines, it won’t stop people from smoking on campus, just the same as Bloomsburg being a dry campus and many people still drink on campus and in campus housing.

  9. I completely agree with you, Andrew. I am also a smoker and I have some days where I have three classes in a row with only a ten to fifteen minute break in between. Rather than sit in class, bored out of my mind, waiting for class to begin, I stand outside and smoke my sweet nicotine. Well, not anymore. I completely understand those who do not want the smoke in their face, because I myself find it to be a disgusting habit, but still, smokers should have their rights as well. If nothing else, keep the designated smoking spots. Nonsmokers do not have to enter them, and we can still have our rights.

  10. I’m not a smoker, but I am from New Jersey where the Clean Indoor Air Act has been in effect for years now. I hated going to restaurants when I was younger and leaving smelling like smoke, it’s gross and I think even smokers can’t deny that. However, I am surprised that PA was able to ban smoking on places like college campuses. I think it shouldn’t be allowed in restaurants or bars at all.. if you want to smoke, go outside. But how can you now be told that you have to be a certain distance away to smoke?

  11. I agree with everyone about the designated smoking sections. I don’t necessarily think it’s fair that students are paying to live here but can’t smoke anywhere. However, I do not smoke and find it to be a disgusting habit. I live in Elwell and the lobby used to reek of smoke. Smoking is a choice and I respect that. But it’s my choice not to smoke so I don’t think it’s fair to have to breathe your smoke. I especially don’t appreciate having smoke blown in my face on the way to class.

    As a side note, I think people are going way overboard with this slippery slope fallacy. People eating trans-fats near me aren’t affecting my health. People smoking near me definately are. There’s a difference between them.

  12. Wow, lots of comments!

    I wish I could be the minority and say I actually agree with the Clean Air Act but I can’t. It seems like the government is doing more about tobacco smoke in the air rather than focusing on the pollution that industries let into the air/water everyday. Seems a little bit ridiculous.

    i think it would be interesting to see a protest on campus. get bloomsburg on the news or something.

  13. I myself am not a smoker, but i find that the smoking ban is ridiculous. I feel that the only reason that they even considered putting the ban on is because it now gives the BU police something to do. You never see the police out and around except for the old guy that hits everybody with the parking tickets. This now gives them something to do!!!!

  14. i keep hearing stories of people who get caught behind a smoker on the casual walk through campus. like it isn’t possible for those offended by the smoke to stop walking for 5 seconds to get away from the smoke. if people only used their brains and would stop complaining about every little thing that offends them, those people might enjoy life a little more.
    p.s. i don’t smoke, it causes cancer

  15. Smoking is wrong and we all know that, however! to completely ban smoking on the entire campus is just pushing it a bit too far.
    I must say that there should indeed be desginated smoking areas around campus because, I mean, it’s only fair in a sense. I can guarantee that cigarette smoke is just a tiny contribution to the many other impurities we live in every day.

  16. I personally do not smoke but I completely Agree with Mr. Hill and the fact that the government is trying to make more laws to control people and take away there rights. “Individual liberties are threatened.” IS the truth the government first takes one thing that leads to another and when does it stop? Like Mr.Hill stated “Will there be a requirement to go to the rec at specific times?”. The extreme end result which people seem to laugh at or skim over is COMMUNISM.

    Do you really want to see a communist America?

  17. I do not smoke. I think its discusting and pointless.. why put chemicals in your body for no reason? It doesnt make you drunk or high.. i dont know.. i guess I will never understand. But I am one hundred percent against this stupid smoking ban. My friend up here smokes a couple cigs a day and out front of elwell it’s a big social event. To take rights we have as Americans and say its wrong to smoke OUTSIDE is absolutely ridiculous. The ban just causes more problems like safety issues of having to walk off campus to smoke. Also people find other places to smoke like behind the dorms and the smoke gets in the windows of non-smokers. There must be designated smoking areas on the campus or this problem is only going to get worse.

  18. I completely agree. People are sneaking around smoking cigarettes like people smoke weed. It’s ridiculous. I understand, however, not allowing smoking all over campus. Last semester (Spring ’08) the University passed a rule stating no smoking in the quad and there were $20 fines for anyone that did. All they need to do is establish designated smoking areas and/or even build bus stop type structures where smoking is allowed. Making the entire campus smoke free is practically discrimination and a $250 fine, c’mon lets not give our police force something else to go nuts with.

  19. I agree with the ban on smoking, but I think for the students that do smoke there should be some kind of smoke shack, or hutt that they could smoke out, and if people still complained they could have some kind of air return vent underneath the huts that would eliminate the smell and other problems.

  20. “i think it would be interesting to see a protest on campus. get bloomsburg on the news or something.”

    We are completely in our rights to do that. I think we should organize a protest.

  21. I believe this problem can easily be resolved by simply designating smoking areas around campus

  22. In my opinion, a complete ban on smoking outdoors is absolutely ridiculous. People are still going to smoke, but now it will be in an unsafe way. Instead of being on campus in well lit areas with ash trays to prevent litter, students are forced to smoke in alleyways and other places susceptible to muggings and crime to avoid getting fined. Designated smoking areas away from buildings would be perfectly fine with smokers, but a complete ban is just not safe.

  23. WOW thanks everybody for really getting into either side of this debate. I obviously joined the facebook group but i won’t count on that making a realistic impact. but if anyone wants to organize or do petitions let me know at arhill@bloomu.edu id be glad to join in. a few things i do want to bring up:
    1. i can see the point of no smoking right out front of the building. that is fine. its not fair to the hundreds going by.
    2. This point isnt a big deal but the thing that bothers smokers more than anything is people reminding us they are not healthy. like i said, i smoke about a pack to a pack and a half a day and they are reds, “Cowboy killers.” but i still smoke i know its killing my lungs we all see the info ads.
    3. i know the slippery slope argument is a bit of a stretch but if you asked me 2 years ago when i first came here what i thought about a complete ban of smoking on campus i would have said your nuts.
    thanks

  24. I have to agree. Although I myself do not smoke I know many people and have many friends that do. Obviously everyone knows that for smokers a nice cigarette in the middle of a hectic day can calm them down and help them relax. It is stupid to make people walk off campus just to have a quick cigarette especially for people who are on campus for the entire day, when are they supposed to find time to do this? It’s not an enclosed area therefore there should be no ban on it. I think that the ban is alienating all smokers and making them all feel bad for choosing to smoke. Its a personal decision and if you don’t like to smoke, then don’t. But for those who do, they shouldn’t have to walk a mile just to enjoy one cigarette. They went about all of this the wrong way. If it really bothers you that someone next to you outside is smoking, you have the choice to walk away.

  25. I don’t personally smoke but I find this to be a bit unfair and ridiculous. I am not a fan of cigarette smoke at all and I have never had a problem with the “smokers”. The campus is wide open with a constant flow of air blowing through it. i think they should spend their time and effort on something more important than fining people.

  26. I don’t like smoke, but I don’t feel as though smokers should not be able to smoke on capmus. I drink coffee (which I know is not good for my health), and if the government restricted where I could and couldn’t drink coffee, I would be pretty upset.

  27. Last night in Millersville apparently they had a big bonfire and everyone sat around it and smoked a cigarette. Even ca’s were there to protest as well. Soon after the cops came and put the fire out and gave everyone citations. Other schools are acting out against this new legislation. It’s one thing to keep talking about how much it sucks. It’s another thing to act on it. i think it was brave for Millersville students to protest like that even though there was a chance they could’ve gotten a costly citation, which most of them did.

  28. I am not a smoker and I do not like the smell of smoke. However, I do think this is a little extreme. I think there should be designated areas where smokers can go. The only problem is, where would they be, where people won’t smell it? Even if there are designated areas, I think people are still going to complain if they think the areas are too far away for them to walk.

  29. I hate the smell of smoke. I hate what it does to the body, and I hate that people want to smoke. I admit – Sometimes as I’m out for a run with my cross country team and am forced to run through someone’s smoke cloud, I let out an exaggerated, unecessary cough.

    Regardless, I agree that this ban is a “slippery slope” and could potentially lead to other unfair encroachment upon how an individual may choose to live his or her life. Power to those who choose to fight it…Just so I don’t have to smell it.

  30. Smoking is just a dumb choice… it is proven that cigarettes and cigarette smoke kills. To smoke is to slowly kill yourself and those around you… not to mention tax the heath system with the issues you will have one day related to smoking.

    At the same time, it is someone’s CHOICE… FREE WILL… we have foughts wars to protect this power of choice.

    Now, I definitely feel smoking should be kept to designated areas ONLY, especially away from building entrances, and if caught in violation you would be fined the first time for the $250… and this money should be given directly, 100%, to the American Cancer Society.

    If you are worrying about your smoking rights that should be the least of your concern with the sate of our country right now… the Fed. Gov. (with their so called bail out) now has their hands so far into our economy that we all should be considered about our freedoms.

  31. I can understand the law banning smoking in confined areas such as a restaurant or a bar and if i strapped you to a chair and puffed my cigarette into your face the whole time then thats a different story. But we are outside on campus, if you dont like my cigarette so much then walk on the other side of the grassy knoll, stand on the other side of the enterance. People complain that they have the right to not be around cigarettes but I also have the right to smoke one. Its like a popularity contest and the unpopular kid (the cigarette) loses. I dont wanna be around smelly boys who fart all the time and slutty girls who walk around campus 1/2 naked but i dont see anyone banning that type of behavior. Call me crazy but i thought segregation went out the door years ago. It normalizes me, its my vice. Some people do crack….I smoke cigarettes SOOOO leave me alone.

  32. Smoking is a free-will choice, and having someone deny me of that is much like denying me one of my civil liberties. This ban is ridiculous and I am tired of hiding behind Elwell in the unlighted areas feeling like a criminal.

    A petition should be drafted and signed by whoever you can, I would say at Bloomsburg alone maybe 2500 would sign (including faculty/staff).

    Maybe the ACLU should hear of this as well, they may find something within the law to fight against it. I was going to draft a letter to them, but want more input first. (http://www.aclu.org)

    Any thought/suggestions: kyleballiet@gmail.com kdballie@bloomu.edu

  33. This rule is just ludicrous. It makes me wish i still smoked so that way when that hefty parking ticket lady came up to me and told me to stop smoking i could blow smoke in her direction and tell her to “f-ck off.”

  34. It was really interesting to read everyone’s opinion on this ban. I’ll be honest, when I first heard of the ban of smoking on the entire campus I thought it was a great idea. (I graduated this past May and I was disappointed that they didn’t do something like this sooner.) I still think the concept is good, but I understand that smokers don’t want to walk off campus to have their smoke in between classes.

    A lot of you said things such as “smoking should not be done around entrances of public buildings”. There was a ban of smoking within 50 feet of building entrances. I don’t think anybody paid attention to that. Every building I went in/out of, there was always at least one person standing there smoking. And when it was raining outside, it was even worse because all the smokers wanted to be shielded from the rain and, of course, stood by the entrances. I do not believe there were any fines for that, but maybe there should have been and people would have caught on.

    With the current situation, I think the best way to make everyone happy is to have designated smoking areas. Somewhere away from buildings and major walkways. Someone explained that people are hiding behind dorms to smoke and then it goes into non-smokers rooms. I had a personal experience with that. My roommate’s girlfriend went outside to smoke, but she usually smoked out front and the smoke went right up into my window. It was disgusting! The current ban is causing that to happen.

    I guess I can’t completely understand the situation without being there, but I hope something can be changed to make everyone happy.

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