Smoking Fire

Smoking on Main Campus has become hazardous in more than one way.

Smoking on Main Campus has become hazardous in more than one way.

A bad habit can often be identified when its consequences harm not only you, but the people around you. Such is the case with smoking.

This week in The Temple News, Josh Fernandez reports student Natalie Ramos-Castillo has cut back using trashcans to dispose of their cigarettes after witnessing “a fire outside Barton Hall last Thursday as a result of a cigarette butt melting at the bottom of a trashcan.”

The alleged incident represents another hazard smoking poses to both smoking and nonsmoking students.

Smokers should be conscious of their habit’s effect on the environment, and in an effort to rid Main Campus’ sidewalks of cigarette butts, students should be able to utilize the stone containers designated for disposing cigarettes.

Unfortunately, Fernandez reports the stone containers are often “filled, leaving only the ground as an option for getting rid of the cigarette butts.”

Office of Sustainability Director Sandra McDade recommends students complain to facilities if the stone containers become too full, but to whom should students complain?

Students are often too lazy or too busy to search for the correct person to contact; others may think it’s not their responsibility to do so. And facilities – which, along with the rest of the university, has suffered budget cuts – may not be as concerned with stone containers when the staff’s list of responsibilities has grown.

Smokers should avoid throwing the remnants of their smokes in trash cans, unless they have fully extinguished the cigarette. Otherwise, you’re endangering your peers, something secondhand smoke does as well.

A University of Pennsylvania student, Vince Mannino, said his campus is cleaner, not because the university is able to employ more facilities staff but because “Penn students are more environmentally concerned and smoke less.”

It is impossible to measure the number of environmentally concerned students on either campus, but Mannino does have a point. Ultimately, the responsibility lies on the students. The facilities workers are not our mothers; clean up after yourselves.

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