My two cents on the smoking ban

By Rachel Billings

October 2, 2012

Smoking areas would be a great compromise but it would have to be enforced better than it is around state buildings or non smoking campuses such as Heartland Health. MWSU is a huge property and it is not easy to go to the end of campus to smoke. I am a smoker and I follow the rules of no smoking in front of buildings except when I walk quickly by them because I have to get to my next class. I believe the smoking bans are a form of discrimination against us as contributing smoking Americans. One example for you is that if you stay in your car and smoke no one can do anything about it. I as a non driver will be at another disadvantage with this new policy being in affect. I think COVERED places (Which is a big reason that the breezeway between Eder and Murphy is often populated by people smoking) unlike the patio down from Eder and Murphy, should be made for smokers to exercise their freedoms on campus without harming non smoking students and faculty. Many businesses have gone non smoking and have driven smoking employees and customers to their car, in alleyways, or on other parking lots nearby. I was a non smoking adult for years and understand the points of non smokers, but I also believe in freedom of choice with legal products. Freedom of choice should lead more to a compromise between the two groups than sending the smokers underground like drug addicts. I would also like to know how many of the faculty members that received “free” smoking cessation programs have stayed smoke free. Heartland implemented a similar program but many of the employees have started smoking again and are forced to go off campus to smoke like criminals hiding a habit. I would also like to point out that the survey of people who supported a non smoking campus might have been swayed by the fact that people were compensated in some way and there was researcher bias from the beginning. In a perfect world cigarettes would never have been invented, but the fact is that it is a legal product. If people really want to make a change and protect everyone’s health, than we are persecuting the wrong people. Of all the answers to the smoking problem this is not the one that will benefit everyone. We are handing over another freedom by doing this and when will it stop?

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