Duke It Out: Should Universities Ban Smoking?

smoking“Excuse me, do you have a lighter, a cigarette or both?”

That is the question that I am usually greeted with when I  walk out of the  building where I take most of my classes in my college. For some reason, that is the “smokers’ hang out spot” where the smokers gather to share a cigarette  and basically fry their lungs while the rest of the non-smoking population is forced to breathe in their second-hand smoke. And then smell like it so their friends, parents and teachers think they have picked up a new extra curricular activity.

So when I read an article about Rockland Community College, a school that has totally banned smoking both indoors and outdoors starting September 1st, I kinda sorta considered transferring. A school that is completely smoke-free? A school where I can go anywhere on campus and not have to worry about coming home smelling like an ashtray? Heaven!

But is that really possible?

I can see this ban working at community colleges, as students don’t live on campus and can light up as soon as their car leaves the campus lot. But what about a regular university? Could a school really enforce that rule? And would banning smoking on campus really promote a “healthy environment,” (the goal of the ban) or are students just going to get in their cars, drive to the edge of campus and enjoy a cigarette over there?

Even more, is this really fair? I am all for a place where I don’t get smoke blown into my face, but is it really fair to take away a legal individual’s right to smoke when they have the urge?

What do you guys think? Would a ban work at your college or university? Would this ban help the nearly 30% of  American college students who smoke?

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