Stephen Hendrickson,

Mike Chioran smokes a Cigarillo on Western Campus. (Contributed by Mike Chioran | The Miami Student)

If you’ve ever been on a campus tour, you’ve heard Miami touted as “smoke-free.” But, a mere minute’s walk away from the butt-free tour route and well-placed “No Smoking” signs proves otherwise. Much to Miami’s dismay, the student body has long since failed to get the memo. 

Nor does it choose to help with the “student enforcement” that forms the basis for the law. This is not to condone smoking. Smoking is terrible for you.

However, people who could use Miami’s help in quitting are treated like criminals, forced to sulk off campus and light up at St. Mary’s. Rather than an all out smoking ban, Miami should take this grand opportunity to show that it can recognize a problem and work with those that need help-not criminalize it and hide behind a smoky, poorly maintained facade. Miami does this in a way already with alcohol.

“Damp” residence halls allow students of age to drink in a safe environment in loose supervision of its staff.  A similar approach could be taken with tobacco. At the University of Cincinnati, smoking is not allowed near doorways, inside buildings or tight spaces. Rules like this allow the school to extend the arm of smoking cessation help without alienating smokers at the same time.

It also makes ash trays not taboo, which is good, because Miami already has enough butts hanging out as is. Miami should stop sweeping its smoking problems under Oxford’s rug and take the chance to improve itself openly. Visiting parents would much rather send their children to a place that can recognize and fix a problem, rather than one that lies to itself.