The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

The Northerner

Not allowed to Smoke

Heather Willoughby and Heather Willoughby

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Are you a smoker used to grabbing a quick fix as you walk the scenic route from building to building between classes? Well, maybe not for long.’ Many public universities are considering a smoking ban, and Northern Kentucky University may consider such a policy in its future.

This would prohibit smoking from any place on campus, including outdoor locations. I think this is a ridiculous, behavior-modifying policy that needs to be put out before it even comes into consideration.’

Being a non-smoker, I am in favor of NKU’s current smoking policy. It keeps those of us who do not want to be exposed to smoke healthy, while still allowing those who choose to indulge to get their fix. If someone is unsatisfied with a person’s decision to light up outside of a designated smoking area, they are free to ask them to move. Most likely, the person smoking will oblige.

However, this possible new smoking ban would fully eradicate all smoke from anywhere on campus. This is an outright infringement on personal freedoms and I feel universities may exploit it as an attempt to influence students’ and faculty members’ lifestyles.

Nobody wants to inhale second-hand smoke; that’s why we have specific, designated areas for students and faculty to smoke freely if they choose to do so. There is nothing wrong with our current policy – as long as it is enforced – and I see no need to ban smoking from a college campus all-together.

I foresee many negative ramifications of this policy, should it come to be. I fear that a smoking ban would result in more backed up parking lots as students rush to their cars to puff away before class. It also seems that the policy would force students who smoke to unnecessarily leave the relative safety of campus to partake in a legal act.

My main concern, however, is the motivations behind these types of bans – Personally, I’m still scratching my head. So, if you smoke, you can’t smoke inside, you can’t smoke outside; Where do you smoke? I cannot see the concern for public safety and health being a logical reason for this policy, so what does that leave us with?

The proposal of such a policy leads me to believe that universities that enforce a no-smoking policy are more concerned with shaping students’ behaviors rather than protecting their safety.’ Those colleges are just pushing themselves a little too far into the lives of its attendees.’ We are adults’ capable of making our own decisions and we are not in need of a parental figure.’

If the current smoking policy isn’t working – I think it is – then they should work on more consistent and efficient enforcement. I would hate to see a full-blown smoking ban effected. This a free campus -‘ this is our campus.’

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
Not allowed to Smoke