The smoking ban at Foothill College has been a school policy for over five years now. It’s implementation was originally virtuous, and by all means had good intentions, but it was also blind sighted. Smokers didn’t end up quitting, and nothing really changed. Over the years it was semi-enforced, but there were no real consequences, hence no point to the rule. Though the ban hasn’t really been enforced yet, I’m going to argue as if it is. Secondhand smoke is the primary argument for banning smoking, so that will be addressed. I will also emphasize on how smoking bans at colleges are morally wrong, ethically wrong, and a waste of resources.
Many people hate cigarettes, and I don’t blame them. They are a disgusting habit that have no long term benefits whatsoever. It’s argued that schools banning smoking will not only help the people that don’t like cigarettes, but will help smokers quit. Stanford University recently made a smoking ban on part of their campus. In the article it says, “People still have the choice to smoke, but making it inconvenient to light up often helps those who wish to stop to achieve their desired goal (Richter). People can only smoke in the parking lots surrounding the multiple buildings that are now in the smoke free zone. This policy is morally and ethically wrong because smokers are now put in a corner. They either have to quit smoking, or walk away from their work, study, etc to smoke. It seems as if we don’t really have a choice in many situations as well. If the closest smoking area is ten minutes roundtrip, plus the smoking, and you only have a ten minute break, then you can’t smoke. Not only is this infringing on our freedoms, it’s implying that if you can’t make it to the smoke free zone in time, then you have to quit. This policy is not respecting the smoker’s autonomy.
The Stanford University article of course also argues about the health benefits of having a smoke free campus. The article gives a scenario of a smoker and a person near him not smoking: “‘A lot of people might assume that the smoke is very dilute and just floats away immediately. But if you are downwind of one or two smokers while sitting at a table or bench, you could be exposed as much as if you were in a smoky bar,’ said Neil Klepeis, PhD, assistant professor.” (Richter) This scenario suggests that either moving away isn’t possible, or asking the smoker to move isn’t possible. Smokers are normal people, and they value others just like non smokers. If someone is uncomfortable with the smoke, that individual can always ask the smoker to leave. You aren’t infringing on anyone’s freedoms if you ask them to kindly move, but you are when you say “you can’t smoke” when