While smoking cigarettes certainly is an unhealthy habit, the idea of banning its use on a public campus infringes upon our rights as individuals. Of course, I’m not denying the health issues associated with smoking or being exposed to second hand smoke, but we cannot ban something that can be avoided in other ways. I think it would be better to require smokers to smoke in designated areas and to be attentive of those around them.
Now, if this were a private university I would argue that it is absolutely the right of the university to ban smoking on campus; however, this being a public – emphasis on public – campus, banning something that is perfectly legal on the streets is a bit odd. So long as smoking is legal on Washtenaw Avenue, I have to say that it should be legal on West Circle Drive. Otherwise, the school is subjecting itself to hypocrisy.
I agree that people shouldn’t be required to avoid smokers if they don’t wish to be subjected to their bad habits, but I just cannot support something that doesn’t make sense with the real world. Once you’re out on the streets, walking around, what’s the difference? If you don’t want people to smoke, then work towards educating people about the negative health effects – not banning its use.