Grabbing a smoke? Not near me!

Douglas Hardman
Staff Writer

Let the ranting begin. Smoking on campus: is it a big deal? Yeah, it kind of is, especially if students are inhaling secondhand smoke every time a smoker wants to light up. I mean, where’s the appeal? Having damaged lungs, yellow teeth, bad breath and a hole in your neck must be appealing to you. Plus, they are expensive as hell, so there goes your money.
Sure, you have the freedom to smoke, but it’s not necessary and you’re causing students to breathe in the secondhand smoke, which has proven to be worse than inhaled smoke. Also, people smoke as a “stress reliever,” but how does a cigarette relieve stress? Destroying your lungs and increasing your chances of cancer doesn’t make you more stressed? Why not take up yoga or just go to the gym if you’re so stressed out? You’ll save money and your health.
Growing up around a chain smoker, you would think that I don’t care about smokers, but it’s really annoying and smells terrible. My dad would smoke in the car whenever we went out and would smoke outside where my siblings and I played. I thought I would just eventually get used to it, but I didn’t.
My dad has smoked for about 30 years and has had gum surgery due to gum decay caused by smoking, so you can see yet another negative effect of smoking. I would be lying if I said that I hadn’t tried a cigarette, because I have.
I was hanging out with my brother-in-law and he offered me a cigarette and I said, “Sure, why not?” I figured I should try it because I’m open to trying everything at least once. The consensus: it was disgusting. The smell, the taste, the aftertaste–I just couldn’t handle it, which adds to my confusion on the appeal to smoking. I never touched a cigarette again.
Let’s get back to the matter at hand: smoking on campus. Yes, you have the freedom to smoke, but why affect the people around you? I know that if I’m having a good day, I don’t want to be smelling cigarettes. I would feel the same if I were having a bad day, I might just get even more mad or annoyed.
Another huge issue is the places where smokers smoke. I either see them right outside the door of a building or just walking along the sidewalks. Please don’t smoke around buildings or doorways. The smoke gets inside, people going in and out get the terrible smell and, worst of all, the secondhand smoke. Be respectful of the people around you. Non-smokers don’t want that; we don’t even know why you want it.
My solution: place smoking gazebos on campus. Putting smokers in designated smoking areas allows students to walk on campus with mainly smoke-free air and the smokers can still smoke in a general area where they can mingle with other smokers and talk about how designated smoking areas “segregate them” from the campus. Sure, it looks like that, but smokers are already segregating themselves because no one wants to be around them when they smoke. But if you’re not for that solution, then don’t smoke on campus.
If we can’t get smokers to smoke off campus, then we need more cigarette butt dispensers in designated areas. I was walking on campus and saw over 10 cigarette butts on the ground in just five minutes. That’s a little ridiculous.
Again, I don’t see the appeal. Is it because you’re young and rebellious and think you’re so cool and hip? It’s not cool. If you’ve seen the latest commercial on T.V., “T.O. is the new B.O.” You’re not cool; you smell and no one wants that. If you’re trying to be “rebellious,” knock it off. You had the chance to rebel at age 13 when you hit puberty and started making your parents’ lives miserable.
You’re an adult now and you’re allowed to make your own decisions, but if your attempt to “rebel” against society or your parents is to smoke, please grow up. Yes, we are young and we only live once, but smoking cuts your lifespan so you may die young in the only life you have.
Smoking isn’t cool. It makes you smell bad, it makes you bankrupt and, when you’re on campus, you’re affecting everyone around you when you decide to light up.
I believe smoking on campus is not necessary; however, since it is not possible to make everyone stop smoking, implementing smoking gazebos on campus would be a good compromise between smokers and non-smokers.