Opposing viewpoints – smoking on campus

It’s official; City College has jumped on the smoke-free bandwagon. For a smoker like me this means being relegated to the badlands of the campus parking lot where I get the added health benefit of car exhaust to my nicotine cocktail.

Thank you Student Health Services for pushing this ban in an attempt to save me from my own bad habits. I suppose I can make room for a few more pollutants if that keeps even one pristine-lunged person from having a whiff of my secondhand smoke.

The no-compromise stance of City College, not to mention Mesa and the others in the district seem to me, extreme. To say there is so little breathable air on campus that we can’t share even small designated sections with smokers is a farce. The fact that eventually some non-smoker will have to spend 1.3 seconds of air lung capacity walking past me (in my designated smokers colony) on their way to class seems not so big a deal when I imagine that they’ve just spent 20 minutes inhaling exhaust while trolling for a parking spot. You know those asthmatics (the ones most affected by our smoke) are not biking to school.

I wonder if City’s new stance isn’t so much about protecting non-smokers as it is about bullying me into becoming one of them. City’s snappy new smoke free campus posters give a list of reasons why “our campus” will benefit from being smoke free. For example: Our campus will be better because “I” will have a decreased risk of cancer, stroke and dare I say it, wrinkles. Our campus will be better because “I” will be better able to taste my food and concentrate on my exams. Our campus will be better because “I” will have more money to spend? On what? School books? All this followed up with a freedom-from-smoking hotline number. If this poster had said anywhere on it ANYTHING about the environment or someone else’s health other than my own (a smoker), I could have taken it with a grain of salt. But I didn’t.

As an adult who can make her own decisions, it is my constitutional right to smoke and abuse my body as I see fit. Non-smoking missionaries please don’t push me to the point where I begin to look at my cigarette as a symbol of constitutional freedom. Let’s compromise. A few designated smoking spots, as implemented during the summer session, seem like a reasonable relationship between us.

Keep in mind, Disneyland has designated smoking areas and they’re the happiest place on Earth.

Evonne Ermey is a City Times staff writer

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Opposing viewpoints – smoking on campus