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 firstname.lastname@example.org.