Pro & Con – The Burning Question: Is the new smoking policy a good idea?

November 8, 2012 Op-Eds, Opinion

In the wake of the new smoking policy, some students have come out in support as others are left fuming (in designated areas, of course). Contributors Amir Sadeh and Samantha Jackson give their take on the regulations and how the new policy will affect you.

CON

Before I get into the crux of voicing my opinion, I would like to make a confession: I am not a regular smoker. If I’m at a party, social gathering or meeting up with friends back home, I am not one to shy away from the occasional cigarillo, much like people who solely drink in social settings. Rarely do I smoke for personal pleasure, and certainly not on a daily basis.

The five places on the Rollins Campus where people can smoke are some of the most inconvenient places.

 The reason I feel I should make this point apparent is to convey that my reason for being against the “Anti-Smoking” Policy does not come from a place of personal necessity, but by belief in personal freedom and my disagreements with the logistics of this policy.

Looking at it face value, the “Anti-Smoking” Policy designates five places on the Rollins Campus where people can smoke, which are some of the most inconvenient places, especially when one wants to just have a quick smoke before class. Let’s be honest: If you’re going to make a policy that shames smokers into remote corners on campus, don’t have the gall to say you are “respecting the needs and concerns of smokers and non-smokers alike.” Please don’t insult my intelligence.

On the whole, most smokers on this campus are good about the way they smoke. There have been major gripes about getting smokers away from smoking in front of Olin Library for ages, and the “25 feet away from buildings” rule is not something that is enforced very well. Instead of designating areas for smokers, why not designate places and times where one can’t smoke? Not to say we can to the other side of the spectrum and highlight campus as smoker friendly, but I’d be more understanding of blocking out certain areas to be smoke-free, such as near the Child Development Center, the front of the Olin Library, and certain academic buildings where a great number of people, including children, gather every day. Or, make certain places smoke-free during the day, but at night, lift those restrictions. No one is around the Crummer Building at 9 p.m. Why not allow people to smoke out there if they so choose? As well, not being able to smoke on the way to class is more burdensome for smokers than non-smokers. Would you rather have a smoker quickly walk past you or have 10 people huddled in between the Annie and Knowles Chapel, turning the area into sauna of smoke?

All I’m saying is that if you want to be fair to both smokers and non-smokers, make a policy that is truly fair. What will be implemented in January is far from it.

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To see the pros of the smoking ban, view this article.

About Amir Sadeh

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