Lauren Hertzler: Butts out

lauren hertzlerSmokers should respect their peers’ lungs and smoke in the properly designated areas on Main Campus.

Will there ever be a day when someone can walk to class and not lose a lung on the way? Our generation was said to overcome the use of tobacco products, especially the white-cancer sticks seen hanging out of everyone’s mouths all the time.

Don’t even get me started on the students smoking right outside my class’s building, bundled up under the rooftop, itching to get a few puffs in before walking through the frigid snow and sleet.

I feel like I’m reliving the 1970s, when cigarettes were actually considered “cool.”

I guess nobody heard of the Aug. 26, 2003 amendment added to Temple’s General Policy Statement prohibiting smoking “within 25 feet of entrances, exits and operable windows.”

Yes, that was nearly a decade ago, folks.

Regulating the tobacco issues on Main Campus should be a top priority for the better of its students, faculty and surrounding wildlife. The unhealthy habit of second-hand smoking irritates not only me but many others as well.

But while smoking is a problem on Main Campus, tobacco is a legal drug in the United States.

Legality, however, doesn’t give smokers the right to disobey university policy, even if they do not know they are violating that policy.

Director of Sustainability Sandra McDade talked with her colleagues and student groups last semester about implementing a “beautification campaign” on Main Campus. This campaign plans to educate students on the harsh effect littered cigarette butts and chewed gum has on humans and wildlife.

Education may not be enough though; this is a matter of laziness. I mean, who thinks throwing cigarette butts on the pavement is good for the environment?

The only way to beautify Main Campus is to completely eliminate the cause. Hundreds of smokeless campuses nationwide feel the same.

On Jan. 7, the Huffington Post reported Florida International University banned cigarette smoking on campus, even in cars. Widener University, located outside of Philadelphia, banned on-campus smoking on July 1, 2010, and is now among six other colleges in Pennsylvania that are smoke-free.

Ryan Mohl, a junior graphic design major, is a nonsmoker who is sometimes bothered by second-hand smoke on campus.

“There is an issue with smoking at Temple,” Mohl said. “I feel like most kids who go to Temple smoke.”

Although students like Mohl and I would be overjoyed if tobacco products were completely banned on Main Campus, it is unlikely such action will take place anytime soon.

“It is their right to smoke and maybe instead of a policy, possibly [putting up] signs raising awareness on polite smoking habits would be more effective and well-received by both parties,” said Temple Student Government President Natalie Ramos-Castillo, a senior education major.

Temple should implement and reinforce designated areas throughout Main Campus where students may smoke with proper, safe and easily accessible equipment to dispose of the used tobacco product.

In similar scenarios, students like myself, can easily avoid the smoking areas, and littered cigarette butts would likely be reduced.

Mohl said the only way an idea like this would be effective is if the university “cracked down” by penalizing students and faculty for smoking outside of the designated areas.

Lauren Hertzler can be reached at lauren.hertzler@temple.edu.

6 Comments

  1. Smoking is cool didn’t you get the memo? Seriously, I have no issue with non smokers, but anti smokers like you, make many smokers like me want to blow my hit directly into your face because you seem to go out of your way to be offended by our choice.

  2. 100% agree while smokers may feel like you’re just picking on them it is the honest truth. I really wish they handed out 20 dollar fines for smoking in front of buildings. It’d be nice to be able to breathe when entering buildings. This and smoking in the middle of gigantic crowds during the busy hours in between classes just show how at times smokers have like no regards for others. If it didn’t affect me I wouldn’t complain. Smoke all you want, away from me.

  3. I love this. I did my senior project report on this subject, but clearly didnt say it as well as you did. Dont allow the contributors to ths terrible habit to get to you. This is a great article and should really be addressed. Ive smoked for 4 years and have since been 5 years smoke free, seen both sides of the fence. Smoking isnt cool, it tastes bad and smells worse. Be a little more respectful to people just trying to go about there day without having to potentially inhaling carcinogens.

  4. Lauren you are right, while its a smoker’s personal choice to smoke, they should be considerate of others who are around them who are getting blasted with the smoke. This is a great article because many students don’t like all the smoke on campus yet have no idea what the policies are regarding smoking. Thank you for making us all aware and perhaps more considerate of others as well.

  5. I totally agree. I think the only down side to Main Campus is that there is no fresh air. Every where I go I breath in the smoke of 3 other people. I once suffered through two smokers smoking under the awning of Orient Express! I was getting food! They asked each other if it was alright to smoke but didn’t even bother to ask me. But instead of penalizing those who do smoke, I think that in addition to the signs, maybe have designated smoking areas away from the entrance of buildings that are covered by an awning or tent of some kind, so smokers won’t have to stand in front of entrances and cloud up other people’s lungs. I mean, they already know the risks of their actions, penalizing them isn’t going to stop them. The best thing to do is to move them away so they won’t poison those who choose not to smoke.

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