Smoking...where do you stand?
I've seen so many opinions, it's just astounding. I know that I can't do it...just the smell or smoke in the air makes me feel like I can't breathe, although I don't often say anything about it. I know, theoretically, I could, but it would probably require me to carry my inhaler, and just wouldn't be much fun. I think I'll pass on the offer.
UTA recently became a smoke-free campus, and there's a lot of controversy on it, mainly coming from those who do smoke. Those who don't smoke, or who can wait to smoke until they are off campus, don't seem to mind too much. Then there's the parties who can't wait until they're even out of the building before they've got the package of cigarettes out, and the lighter, waiting until they get out the door to light up.
Now, it's not that I want to control them or anything, because I really don't. In fact, I don't even want to force them to think about the damage they're doing to themselves, or the people around them. Honestly, I just want people to think about what it takes to be such an impulsive person that even waiting to get out the door before lighting up is torture. That walking to your car and driving off campus is far too long before you can indulge in your addiction is too much of an expectation. Is it?
I mean, there were rules before, which were loosely enforced because the smokers couldn't wait until they got 50 feet from the doors. Is that too much to ask? I know it's hard to understand, for a non-smoker, but can't you find some other way to relieve anxiety? I know that anxiety is hard- I have to deal with it all the time- there are other ways. I can't resort to smoking. Trust me, there are other ways.
Smoking is just a very poor coping mechanism for stress and anxiety, one that can lead to physical and psychological problems...alcohol is another problem that can lead to trouble. The two are very often linked together, too.
Why must we ban smoking on campus? I don't know. Why is it such a problem that smokers can't wait a little bit longer to get to their cars, or at least a more open area to smoke? I don't know. I don't like the division between the two parties, and luckily, I don't have to be on campus to watch the situation unfold when the new semester begins (the ban was put into place 1st August).
I think a better idea would have been to have a few designated places on campus, marked designated places, ones that non-smokers could avoid, so that the problem could have been contained a little bit easier. I think the problem they are trying to target is smoking itself, but the thing is, and a lot of people have complained, some smokers just don't want to quit. Why? I have no idea. I can't execute my will on them and force them to...but I wish they would. It's not something I would encourage for anyone. Alas, they are steadfast in their belief that it is a right for them to smoke, and they won't quit.
Will this divide always exist? Will the United States become a place that is divided between smokers and non-smokers, dividing into cities based on their smoking behaviors? How far are we going to go on this? How far will they push smokers before the smokers turn around and do something about it? I guess we'll just have to wait and see.