Smoking rules should be sane

I quit smoking last New Year’s Eve. I can’t decide if it was the best decision I ever made, or the worst. Seriously though, one thing is for sure: I’m glad it was up to me to make the decision, not some policy imposed on me. I read the article “Smoking Ban Encourages Quitters” (April 11). I don’t like the notion that this new policy is somehow legitimate. The Clean Air Act, hailed as an excellent “compromise” for smokers and non-smokers alike, is one of the biggest jokes I’ve seen in my four years here at Northern Kentucky University.

But it’s actually not that funny when you think about what it means to be a smoker who follows this policy. It means limiting a freedom to do something you enjoy, for absolutely no logical reason. True, second-hand smoke has been proven to be harmful in many studies. I would challenge that car exhaust is unhealthy to breathe as well, but I don’t see any sweeping movement to ban cars at NKU. One day’s worth of traffic at Northern probably puts out more smoke than a year’s worth of cigarettes. Quick, everyone get out the gas mask! Or just give me a break.

It is trendy today to act like smokers have no rights. Under the almighty veil of “public health,” non-smokers have more of a say when it comes to smoking than smokers do. How ironic, and how sad. Many things in life aren’t universally accepted. But in a free world, ideally, choices should be left for individuals to make. Has that been forgotten?

I am not unreasonable. I know smoking is unhealthy. That’s why I quit. I also know that banning it is a national trend, and that the non-smoking Gestapo behind this could have just as easily jumped on some other clich