I disagree with Marcus William’s column regarding smoking on campus (in print Oct. 11). There needs to be an effort to enforce current smoking laws and limit the amount of people smoking in public places. People have a right to smoke cigarettes except when that right to smoke cigarettes infringes on people’s right to breathe clean air.
In his column, Williams asserts there is no benefit to banning smoking in open spaces. However, on my way to classes every day I walk through people smoking in open spaces. There are people smoking daily in the outdoor residence hall corridors, along the walkways by Newman, in the courtyard at Randolph and in countless other locations. Most of these people smoking are right next to entrances of buildings. At Virginia Tech it is very difficult to go a day walking around campus without inhaling a good amount of secondhand smoke, as the enforcement of smoking (rules) is non-existent and people show no restraint as to where they smoke.
It is the smoker’s responsibility to smoke in appropriate places; however, it is a daily occurrence that I encounter students, faculty, staff and contractors employed by Tech smoking in crowded places (with) no consideration for the people around them. This is unacceptable, especially for the people exposed that have pre-existing conditions such as asthma.
A ban on smoking on Tech’s campus, if enforced properly, would make for a better campus experience. It doesn’t matter if people are still smoking cigarettes off-campus, all that matters is that people don’t have to be exposed to secondhand smoke in public places on campus.
- Jason Schwartz, student