Smoking should not be an issue

Commentary Featured Opinion Letter to the Editor Opinion

I’m Nick Brewer, an economics major here at MWSU and a non-smoker.  That being stated, a smoke free-campus robs students of possibly the most valuable lesson college has taught me; opportunity cost.  That life is full of choices and tradeoffs between goods and services.  These past four years have been a safe place to experiment with those choices and tradeoffs with less dire consequences than in the real world.

The traditional student comes to college to live alone for the first time.  Finally, personal freedom triumphs over paternalism.  I, the scholar of MWSU, am finally able to make choices on my own (Freedom) as opposed to some authority making that decision for me. (Paternalism)

I came to college to experience less paternalism and more personal freedom. Not to have mommy western slap a no-no stick out of my hand.  MWSU is not for children and it is not an equitable practice prohibit an activity that students are willing and able to participate in.

I took part in that “Scholarly Research” Dr. Suzanne Kissock claims supports her smoke free campus.  The study that claims “student majority indorses it.” (smoke-free campus) That survey/study, which I participated in, would be a shame to any statistician.  According to that survey, I support a smoke-free campus.  “Why” you ask? The free tee-shirt.  Not from my ardent opposition to smoking on campus.

As for Dr. William Russell statement that a new tobacco policy “allows us to make it easier for people to engage in healthy behaviors,”  I say: “Say what you mean, and mean what you say.”  You aren’t suggesting we “make it easier for people to engage in healthy behaviors,” as if we are being done a favor, students will be forced into a particular way of life that they may not have chosen themselves.

Lastly, I am surprised this article didn’t bring up the Murphy/Eder smokers.  This has been the only viable argument in this whole discussion because it brings up the negative externality presented when smoking close to buildings and brings John Stuart Mill’s “harm principle” into the argument.  As my rebuttal to this point I make a very simple observation; if you don’t want people smoking by the doors, don’t put the cigarette dispensers by the doors.

I agree with Dr. Daniel Trifan in that smoking areas are a “perfectly reasonable compromise.”


Nick Brewer

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