It’s seem that more and more communities are forbidding smoking through various means—UNC Chapel Hill has decided that smoking will be banned within 100 ft. of university property.That means no one, not students, not professors, not staff, not visitors can smoke for the duration of the time that they remain on campus.This, of course, has been decided for the benefit of everyone’s health, as medical studies have shown that nonsmokers do have a risk of developing lung cancer; Dana Reeves is the highest-profile example of this.
Now, I don’t know how the university plans to enforce this, nor do I think it lawfully can be enforced, but regardless, I believe policies like these are intended to make smokers feel like criminals.They must lurk in the dark corners to nurse their habit—even smoking areas are forbidden on campus.I’m not a smoker but I think that it’s ridiculous to try and legislate such laws against a legal vice.Until the day that cigarettes are contraband, doesn’t it seem that such actions infringe on the bill of rights?
As the medical literature does prove that proximity to smoke can cause lung cancer, I would be in favor of forbidding it from entrances, buildings, etc.But UNC has a plethora of wide open spaces; I don’t understand why smoking areas couldn’t be allowed in the middle of them.Are people incapable of granting smokers a wide berth?There are plenty of paths to take to any building.
I also think it’s insulting that the University’s answer to concerns about the policy is to refer people to resources that help fight nicotine addiction.As in, the only possible reaction people could have is to try and quit, not try and fight for their rights.
What do you think?Am I overacting and such policies aren’t really a big deal and are better for everyone?Or do such actions want to make you step to the window and scream that you’re mad as hell as well?