Smoking policy needs enforcement

editorial cartoon by Jacob Bogdanoff
editorial cartoon by Jacob Bogdanoff

With California officially changing the legal smoking age to 21, smoking has once again sparked a conversation on campus. Some students are for it — the ones that are over 21, mostly – and others are upset about the notion of being turned away at Circle K.

Regardless of everyone’s thoughts on the new smoking law, one message needs to come through the clouds loud and clear: go blow your smoke somewhere else.

“Smoking is only permitted in designated areas in University parking lots and public sidewalks immediately adjacent to University parking lots,” University policy clearly states.

One can understand the frustration, then, when someone in the quad sits around doing his best chimney impression, blowing cloud after cloud of smoke that many find intolerable, and proceeds to leave it wherever they please – usually the ground.

This is not to disparage people who enjoy smoking; rather, it is to ask you to please be considerate of those with whom you share this campus. Imagine how hard it is to enjoy a piping hot order of carne asada fries outside Barbara’s Place while a group of students and sometimes even faculty decide to light up right in front of the Campus Center.

Smoking on campus leads to a number of problems: cigarette butts scattered everywhere, which could potentially be a fire hazard, not to mention second-hand smoke, which is no longer a myth; it is a real thing, and those who still sit around blowing smoke rings with their friends are endangering the health of everyone around them.

It should also be important to note that the university policy on smoking also covers vaping. Although no science yet exists that proves the second-hand danger of vaping, those who do on-campus should abide by the policy.

The smoking rules are currently brushed off, but need to be better enforced by Campus Safety, for the protection of those who do not want to be subjected to smoke, and for the beauty of our campus.

The next time smokers need to get their fix on-campus, we urge them to please think first and take some responsibility for where they smoke and where they drop their cigarette butts.

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