The continuous struggle to help campus become “healthier” by eliminating smoking from campus could do more harm than good. The new plan is offering solutions to those that don’t want smoking, but leaves out a compromise for those that would like to continue smoking.
If the new plan is going to make students quit smoking for fear of tickets, then there should be a location to allow smokers to continue smoking. One solution is to make smokers cross Taft Boulevard towards the churches to avoid tickets. This could potentially cause more harm than good.
The Centers for Disease Control estimates that there is one crash-related pedestrian death every two hours and a pedestrian injury every seven minutes. Therefore in an eight hour school day this proposal puts 68 people in danger of being injured and eight in danger of dying.
Therefore safety precautions would need to be put into place in order to curb the possibility of a pedestrian accident. According to the CDC, since 1964 only 2.5 million non-smokers have died from exposure to secondhand smoke nationwide.
Another argument presented is the lack of smokers on campus would add to the “beauty” of campus by the lack of trash. But there would still be trash bigger than the 2 ¾ inch cigarette on the ground. There are no littering citations around campus and if there are, they aren’t enforced. If campus beauty is a goal, “teeth” could be added to this before making people quit smoking.
Students won’t pay these tickets anymore than they pay the $20 parking tickets. There would have to be an appeal process in place just like parking. A majority of these tickets end up on the ground due to wind anyways. That is just one more piece of trash on the campus instead of fixing what “beauty” problems the campus always has.
Courtney Gilder is a junior in mass communication.
Opposing viewpoint: Smoking ban needs some teeth
Read more: Toothless tobacco policy needs revision
MSU’s official tobacco policy