Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Should College's have a smoking wide campus ban?

I am all for this and love the idea, but that’s probably because I’m not a smoker.  Recently, the college I attend, Oakland University (OU), passed a campus wide smoking ban starting in Fall 2013.  There were talks about doing this for years, and finally they put it through. Is that too much?  Is it taking away the rights of those that do smoke?

It was passed because Oakland is all about promoting a positive and healthy environment for its students. I was reading up on the Oakland Posts’ Facebook page (our school newspaper) and was disgusted by the horrible comments people were leaving about the ban.  Many smokers were saying that “if they are going to ban smoking to promote a healthier environment, then they should ban all the fatty foods too, because banning smoking was taking away our rights.  Students pay a lot of money to go to college and now they don’t have the right to have a cigarette if needed?”   First of all, eating unhealthy foods is your choice. Oakland offers many alternatives so you don’t have to eat unhealthy.  If YOU eat unhealthy fried foods, it DOES NOT affect MY health.  However, smoking DOES affect MY health.  That is where we separate the two.  Second hand smoke is the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States, killing roughly 53,000 nonsmokers per year.   With that said, smoking is a major concern not just to your health, but to everyone around you too that choose not to smoke.

So why couldn’t college’s like Oakland University limit to where smokers could smoke rather than banning it from the whole campus?  Well, they tried.  They made it a rule that smokers MUST smoke AT LEAST 50 feet from designated buildings.  However, it was NEVER followed.  I have attended OU for a few years and have yet to see one smoker follow that rule.  Everyone stands outside the doors, so other students have to walk through the smoke to get inside.  And when it’s windy….forget about it, the smoke always seems to blow in the direction we are walking, which makes it a problem when we are walking behind a smoker or a group of smokers.  However, this was also partly on OU’s fault. They never enforced the rule, so smokers were able to get away with it.

For all the smokers that still want to smoke on campus and call us non smokers whiners: stop telling me to hold my breath and deal with it while I walk through your cloud of smoke. How about you just not light it up? Your lack of smoking 50 feet from the building, leaving cigarette butts everywhere and just generally not following the rules that the campus provided… brought this upon yourselves and to solve it, Oakland chose to put a ban on smoking.  Some students have stated that they are allergic to smoke as well, so I’m sure they are happy with this decision OU has made.

On another side note to smoking….smoking outside to the front doors almost everywhere I go is starting to get on my nerves.   Many places, not just OU, have a certain distance they want you to be from their building to smoke. So it’s not just OU where this rule was not followed.  The common saying I hear (for smoking near the doors) is that it’s too cold out etc.  Boo freaking hoo!  Deal with it!  If you don’t like the cold, then don’t smoke, it’s really as simple as that. I guess that’s a consequence of smoking, you have to deal with the weather changes, gee whiz.

Now, my only concern is this: I wonder how Oakland University is going to enforce it, since they never enforced the 50 feet rule. I’m hoping they have more police around campus, or that students will report if they see another student smoking. I can only imagine that many students will still bring their packs to school and smoke where they want to.   So let’s do a better job this time OU and enforce this!

And just for the record, I have nothing against smokers themselves; I just don’t agree with your choice to smoke.  It’s not my life though, so smoke if you want to (off campus).

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Well, game one sucks....but we'll get 'em back!  Go TIGERS!!! :)