Williams College in Willamstown, Mass., recently banned smoking from all outdoor sporting events and from within 25 feet of any college building. This is pertinent in regard to the smoking that occurs in front of PSU building entrances. While smokers have the right to smoke, they should not be permitted to force others to endure their addictive, odorous, unhealthy, invasive habits. This is precisely what happens when anyone enters/exits or nears a building. Additionally, many of the building air intakes are located where smoking occurs, which would seem to violate indoor no-smoking policies.
It has been unequivocally demonstrated that those subjected to secondhand smoke are at risk to the same side affects (cancer, emphysema, asthma, allergies, etc.) as smokers, so why does the university take such a permissive attitude toward this invasive practice? If a college such as Williams can take a stand against smoking, then why can’t a progressive university like PSU do the same? The smokers will complain as usual, but eventually adjust and everyone will breathe easier.
In addition to the obvious health issues related to smoking, a cloud of noxious gas is not the first impression we want to give visitors and prospective students? This is an issue that needs to be addressed and resolved with a campus-wide smoking ban or minimally an increase and enforcement of the distance from all PSU building entrances. It is the prerogative of the individual to maintain distasteful habits, but a message needs to be sent that such activities are looked upon with disdain.
Finally, it should be noted that the no-smoking signs that are posted go ignored and unenforced. Since the smokers prove themselves inconsiderate by disregarding the signs, they can pay for enforcement by being fined for violations. If you’re tired of smokers milling around the doors then send an e-mail to Roberic Diman, vice provost and special assistant to the president, at [email protected] and ask for a campus-wide smoking ban or for the minimum distance to be increased and enforced.
Trenton J. McKinney, senior