Coexisting with smokers
I am a smoker and a graduate student. I was hoping Friday’s staff editorial, “Butting out,” would be nuanced, insightful, balanced, fair or any of the above. But I found it to reek of something worse than cigarettes: it was priggish, passive-aggressive and self-righteous.
The idea that people on the campus are suffering from second-hand smoke is absurd. There simply aren’t enough smokers for it to be an issue. What’s the point of regulating a nonissue?
Even if, in some rare instance, I or some other smoker accidentally puffs smoke in your face, you’re not going to get cancer. But your language is reminiscent of Bush-era paranoia: “…protect the entire community from tobacco,” “…protect non-smokers from second-hand smoke.” Are you a child who needs protection? Why are you fabricating a scourge and bullying around a minority composed of your peers?
I bet exhaust from the long line of cars around rush hour is worse environmentally and for campus health. And noise pollution has been shown to hinder academic progress. Where is the noise ban for drivers blasting music with open windows? Why not protect my right to peace and quiet? Or just ban cars?
I don’t understand why you, non-smokers, treat smokers like nonhumans and passively resort to aggressive regulations that continue to discriminate against your smoking brethren.
Like most smokers, I understand cigarettes smell particularly pungent to non-smokers. I wouldn’t take offense if someone politely asked me to smoke somewhere else. But I would take offense if someone, citing a regulation, demanded that I put out my smoke.
But thank you for respecting my right to “indulge [my] habit.” Why not just say you respect my right to smoke? Either you are an over-stylized writer or you are making a value judgment about my indulgent habits and about me.
You suggest designated smoking areas; they are dehumanizing. You may not know this if you haven’t been in one, but when some entity tells you that you are harmful to people and must quarantine yourself off somewhere, it is dehumanizing.
When you graduate from college, maybe some of you will move to a real city where real people live.
And hopefully you’ll shed your misconceptions and learn to be great journalists by understanding people. Some of those people are smokers. Stop discriminating against them and treat them like human beings.