EDITORIAL: Let smokers make own decision

The University’s smoking regulation will finally have actual enforcement, not just the social kind. But The Beacon has to ask: why?

Why make decisions for the adults who make up this University? Why place a regulation when Florida has its own law to regulate smoking and secondhand smoke?

This makes us believe that the University views its students as indecisive children who don’t know what’s good for them. FIU is not here to baby its students or employees. If that were the case, then we should regulate soda as well.

Members of the University community who are conscious of the dangers of high fructose corn syrup could argue soda is just as harmful to our health as it is a major contributor to increases in obesity, Type II diabetes, tooth decay and cancer.

If we are going to regulate smoking, then why not do the same for alcohol on campus as well?

The dangers of drinking too much alcohol are all too familiar to us. Done to excess, drinking alcohol can lead to arrest or death. Moreover, just like cigarette smoke, excessive alcohol drinking can put others in danger.

Sound familiar?

Therefore, the University should consider citations, educational courses and trips to Student Conduct for those who drink too much soda or alcohol on campus.

We realize this isn’t a plausible outcome, but for those among us a who enjoy cigarettes from time to time, we would be remiss if we didn’t point out the double standards in play with this situation. The acts of smoking cigarettes and chewing tobacco and their side effects have a much worse social stigma than drinking soda pop or even alcohol. However, the consumption of sodas such as Pepsi could be just as malicious to healthy living as nicotine.

But if the University is going to make decisions for us, then it should, we say begrudgingly, use the more effective route and take our money.

Perhaps a better enforcement could aim towards students’ finances. A fine of even $20 could make a student think twice before lighting their cigarette or taking their picture smoking next to the “smoke free campus” signs. Students who have to pay for classes with increasing tuitions every year, books, monthly bills and recreational activities, do not like to see their money go to waste and if they can smoke elsewhere without seeing their wallets lose weight, then they will not take the risk because by then, smoking will be money.

The point should be to enforce the state law already in place, not force students to take advice that as adults they should be able to take or leave as they please. Students, faculty, and staff should attend an educational course on the dangers of smoking because they want to, not because a violation says so. And a ban should be enforced more effectively, not with a sermon.

1 Comment on "EDITORIAL: Let smokers make own decision"

  1. Good editorial, for the most part. The problem I have with comparing smoking to drinking alcohol or soda is that smoking isn’t just bad for you – it’s bad for the people around you. If someone’s drinking a bottle of scotch next to me, as long as they’re not behaving badly, it doesn’t affect me one way or the other. Breathing in someone else’s cigarette smoke, however, is excruciating. It literally makes me sick to be around other smokers (and constantly breathing in second hand smoke is dangerous.)

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