The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Editorial: Making SBCC a smoke-free campus is a bad idea.

Making City College a smoke-free campus is a stupid idea.

The whole concept is an infringement on a person’s right to choose what they wish to do with their bodies, and further more, makes about as much sense as a chocolate teapot.

Complaints from students and faculty of cigarette smoke drifting through classroom doors and windows are not unfounded. And it is understood that cigarette smoke can set off certain allergic reactions or asthma.

But a complete smoking ban on campus, except for designated areas, seems extreme.

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No one wants to go out of their way to do anything, especially something as menial as having a cigarette on the way to class. Perhaps you have been working in the lab for a couple of hours and need to step outside for a moment: you would be forced to walk to the closest smoking area just to have a break.

Smokers are addicts. They need nicotine to go about daily life without feeling discomfort. Let’s not add to their problems by making smokers feel like social outcasts, forced to remain in their seperate smoking area so as not to inflict themselves on the rest of campus.

The law states that you can only smoke 20 feet away from a doorway to a public building. Here at City College, we have a 30-foot rule. It’s true that smoking areas would make this easier to regulate- – judging 30 feet is not the easiest task – but who would enforce the smoking areas? This impossible task would supposedly go to the same people charged with making smokers stand 30 feet away from buildings.

Would these smoking areas have overhead covering or be exposed to the elements? Even if they did, smokers would have to walk through the rain to get to the designated area.

Non-smokers have the right to breathe clean air, and this is respected by many smokers. Making smokers go to a separate area for their habit just seems like an over-regulation of a person’s rights.

If students choose to smoke, that is their prerogative. Smokers don’t set out to inflict their habit on others; they just want to smoke in peace.

Smokers can use common sense and courtesy when it comes to others, and non-smokers should realize there are people from all walks of life on campus – learning to live with each other is an important lesson.

If we respect each other, no one will have to deal with the absurdity of designated smoking areas on campus.

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