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Opinion

Smoking on campus a source of irritation

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February 24, 2012

The other day, I was walking to my English class when, all of a sudden, I got thick and smelly smoke blown in my face. I started to cough and I noticed the cigarette in the hand of another student that happened to be walking directly in front of me. The cigarette smoke made it kind of difficult to breathe until I got around the student and away from the smoke.

Let me be clear, I’m not trying to hate on the smokers around campus because I know there are a good portion of them that are respectful while smoking. However, on more than one occasion I have been stuck behind a smoker who decides to blow their smoke in the direction that I am walking.

Everyone has his or her own right to choose to smoke and I want to be clear that I do respect their decision. But, it’s a two way street and nonsmokers, including myself, would like our choice to not smoke respected too. I am well aware that the smoke is not blown in my face on purpose. But, I would rather not be forced into walking through second hand smoke because some of the people who do decide to smoke have an unintentional habit of blowing the fumes around wherever they happen to be walking.

In my opinion, if the campus had designated spots for smoking away the doors, buildings and maybe even off of the main sidewalks, it would be very beneficial. I know it would be inconvenient for those that do smoke, but not everyone wants to have to dodge the smoke and the smell that comes along with it.

What if there were a couple of specific places around campus that the smokers were able to go to that were covered so that if it is raining or snowing they don’t get soaked? That would probably be the ideal solution but this idea is not possible as of right now.

Some people even get sick from cigarette smoke and they are affected a lot more than the average non-smoker. I’m not advocating the idea that smoking on campus should be banned entirely because I feel that that would be wrong. On a positive note, I do have to say that the students and staff that choose to smoke are very good about making use of the cigarette butt disposable bins. It’s nice to walk around and not have to worry about stepping on used cigarettes, especially since flip-flop season is right around the corner.

I’m going to be honest, when I was at my old school before I transferred here, you couldn’t walk anywhere without stepping on the cigarette butts and getting them stuck in your shoes. So thank you UW-River Falls smokers, for being respectful by keeping your cigarette butts off the ground where people are walking.

In all, I believe that there could be something done about the way smoking is handled than what it is currently. However, I give credit to the smokers on campus for not being as troublesome as they could be. They keep their cigarette butts cleaned up for the most part and there is a good portion of the smokers who are careful about where they blow their smoke.

I do find it very troublesome to have smoke blown in my face, even though I am aware that it is probably not on purpose. Like I said before, I am not trying to hate on the smokers that are a part of the UWRF campus, but I think there could be better

Samantha Mayberry is a junior and is majoring in journalism. She is from Rochester, Minn., and loves to read, listen to music and take pictures.