Every September, Miami University turns into a fall wonderland with vibrant leaves and crisp fresh air. That is, until the air is marred by a cloud of cigarette smoke. Even with the obvious health risks and a campus-wide ban, many students in the Miami community still smoke cigarettes.
The editorial board of The Miami Student feels that although students may make their own decisions regarding smoking, they should do so in ways that are respectful to others. Smoking is prohibited on campus; students should respect this policy the same way that they should respect university policies regarding alcohol.
While we understand that some students wish to take a study break by stepping out for a cigarette, smoking outside of high-traffic buildings like the Shriver Center and King Library is rude and inconsiderate of fellow Miami students.
The decision to smoke affects not only the smoker but also those who must walk through or around second hand smoke.
Students know the effects of smoking on their bodies, and we respect that they have the right to decide to smoke cigarettes. We understand that smoking is a social action and that cigarettes can serve as a social currency. We do not wish to paint smokers as ignorant; we all know that smoking is horrible for our health. We simply wish to remind students that the act of smoking on campus is not only banned but also disrespectful to the rest of the student body who chooses not to smoke.
Many students view it as a temporary habit, as with many other things we do in these four years. Smoking seems be justified by our “young and invincible” attitude; many students seem to believe that they can smoke for now and quit when they have to graduate and join the real world, even though smoking can be a highly addictive habit.
Miami’s policies regarding this behavior are clear, though not well monitored. Much of the enforcement efforts fall to students, who are supposed to ask a smoker on campus property to put out their cigarette. But we know that many students would not feel comfortable confronting another student about their smoking for many reasons, including the fact that they feel it might not do any good.
The university’s enforcement policy is ineffective, and seems like a way for the university to cast responsibility onto the students. We believe that smoking on campus should receive a ticket, much like parking illegally on campus. Dealing with a behavior that affects student health on a daily basis should be important to Miami’s policy enforcement team. Though students have the right to smoke, they do not have this right on campus property, and should face consequences for breaking the rules.
When we first came to Miami we all heard about Miami’s beautiful smoke-free campus. Lets actually make it smoke-free.