Explaining how people selfishly pollute our campus with their smoking habits daily

“I absolutely love walking through the Eddy-Clark corridor, the smoke-filled atmosphere just serves to really refresh me on my way to class” — said no one, ever.

Last week the Collegian ran an article reporting on how CSU was considering banning tobacco products, and it is definitely an annoying issue that needs addressing.

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While I believe that banning all tobacco products on campus is a bad idea and ultimately not necessary, something needs to be done to address the cigarette smoking that currently takes place everywhere.

Nearly every day, despite which route I take to class, I find myself immersed in a putrid plume of smoke that some man or woman decided was necessary to exhale as soon as they passed me by.

While I believe strongly that it is every citizen’s right to slowly kill themselves however they choose, I firmly deny that they have the right to subject me to the same fate.

The problem I have with cigarette smokers is that they are affecting the health of many other people with their decision to light one up in public — that simply astounds me everytime I see it. These people are either unaware — or perhaps just do not care — that they are taking time off of everyone’s life that surrounds them while they enjoy a few minutes of nicotine heaven.

This is precisely why cigarette smoking should be banned on campus. Public health is a very serious issue, and the university has a responsibility to protect the health of those students that pay for it to function.

Basically, by allowing cigarettes to continue to be used in the same capacity that they are right now, the campus community is saying it is okay for people to make decisions that could give their peers cancer and/or other serious maladies.

With the amount of information and research that has been done on the effects of secondhand smoke, there is absolutely no excuse for allowing smoking to continue to be a public practice.

I would absolutely support a campus initiative that would ban on-campus smoking, or at least quarantine it to a few largely people free zones, like the middle of the intramural fields (or somewhere like that).

It would also not be overly difficult to enforce. We have bike cops that absolutely love enforcing the biking rules on campus — probably because they get paid splendidly to do that. The university could employ the same sort of sanctions on public smokers. Simply write them a citation for violating public health, which should take care of the problem quite quickly. It would most likely pay for itself too.

Hopefully this is not coming across as an attack on smokers, I have friends who smoke and it really is nothing against you as a person, you just have one little habit that I prefer not to pay with my life for.

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So, perhaps in the not-so-distant future we will go to campus, get educated, and not have to pay for it with our lives.

Perhaps that is a bit too dramatic, but then again — perhaps not.

Second hand smoke kills us in a subtle, slow way; like how your bank account drains away from those tiny, less than $10 purchases we all make.

I do not expect this article will change many of the hearts of those people who have the audacity to smoke in large crowds, but hopefully it will bring this issue to the forefront so that it can be given the attention that its deserves and ensure it’ll be addressed and fixed in a timely manner.

And if anyone is really passionate about making their lives last a little longer and a little healthier, next time Mr. T. Frank writes one of his short stories to you, write him back that you would like to be able to go to class and not be forced to hold your breath for half the distance.

Res Stecker is a junior international studies major. His columns appear Thursdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.