HEAD TO HEAD: Is an outright smoking ban right for UCM?

Written by Muleskinner Staff

Story by ANDY LYONS, News Editor—
AndyI’m not exactly a proponent of smoking. I don’t go to my friends and acquaintances and say “Hey buddy, you should have a smoke.”
But I do smoke, and have since I was a teenager.
It is legal to smoke tobacco in the state of Missouri, while there are county and municipal laws that regulate where people can smoke.
In 2014, UCM will officially be a non-smoking campus.
Luckily for me, I am supposed to have already graduated by then.
I understand why a rule like this was passed, even if I think it’s a bit harsh.
I know that people don’t respect the designated smoking areas currently, but I think if they did, a resolution like no smoking campus wide wouldn’t be necessary.
For those of us that choose to smoke, knowing the health risks to ourselves and others, it will be quite the hassle leaving campus to satiate our addiction, especially if we have classes back to back.
There are still five U.S. airports with indoor designated smoking areas, with multitudes of others having a designated area just outside their baggage claim areas.
I don’t know exactly what percentage of UCM students, faculty and staff smoke, but I know I see people smoking outside of the main entrance to the Union atrium, the northeast doors to the Martin building, the west entrance to Highlander Theater and when walking between classes.
To think that all of these people are going to simply quit is ridiculous.
I’d never encourage people to break UCM policy, but people will still smoke.
If someone is having a cigarette in their vehicle as they drive to campus will they be accosted when they reach UCM grounds?
I really just feel like there was no communication to smokers on campus before simply enacting a no smoking policy.
It will be a tough time to move to that reality without consideration for people who do choose to smoke.
Do I think there should be a smoker’s hut in the middle of the quad? Not necessarily.
But I think if the designated areas were used, and smokers sent to that area instead of standing in front of doors with “No Smoking Within 50 Feet”
signs on them, this wouldn’t be a step that the powers that be would take.
It’ll be interesting to see how campus smokers react to the new policy once it goes into effect, and how the administration plans to enforce it.

(Photo by JASON STRICKLAND, Sports Editor)
(Photo by JASON STRICKLAND, Sports Editor)
Story by Jason Strickland, Sports Editor—
JasonRelief comes to mind when I think about the tobacco ban coming to UCM in 2014.
Most likely I will not be on campus then, but it is good that non-smoking students will not have to breathe in unwanted cigarette smoke.
I’m not against smoking completely. I just don’t like walking through a wall of smoke when entering a building on campus.
According to the American Cancer Society, secondhand smoke is classified as a cancer-causing agent by the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Toxicology Program and the International Research on Cancer.
I understand smokers’ reasons for being against the new policy, but it is for the greater good.
The policy will have an overall positive impact on UCM because campus will become fresher, cleaner and more enjoyable to be on without smoking.
There doesn’t even have to be someone smoking by a door for the smell of smoke to be there. The cigarette butts still make the area hard to breathe in.
It may also increase enrollment because students against smoking will be more likely to enroll and I don’t think many smokers will choose not to come here just because of the policy.
Also, this policy can help reduce the number of smokers.
According to the 2012 surgeon general’s report, 90 percent of smokers started by age 18, and 99 percent by age 26.
If there is no smoking on campus, then it is less likely students will start smoking in the first place. The negatives of smoking definitely outweigh the positives.
Some reasons for smoking are to relax and relieve stress, but the risks are high.
And smokers aren’t just jeopardizing their own health, but the people around them.