Opinion

Staff Editorial 9/29: Smoke-free areas spark rebellion

The University of Miami campus’ new smoking zones became effective Sept. 1. A map of these designated smoking areas has circulated, but the only noticeable changes on campus are signs reminding smokers not to light up and blue poles with ashtrays in these spots.
A walk along the paths connecting the campus still involves dodging clouds of smoke, even though there may not even be a smoking area nearby.
Clearly, many students are up in arms against the university’s motion to become smoke-free. UM aims to cut its smoking zones in half by August 2012, and would like to be entirely smoke-free a year after that.
So what is the purpose of banning smoking?
Although it would please the population of students that don’t smoke, it is treating the portion that does unfairly. The university shouldn’t be responsible for forcing students to stop smoking.
That being said, smoking is a choice. Nonsmokers shouldn’t have to deal with secondhand smoke if they don’t want to.
In theory, the designated smoking areas are extremely beneficial. However, the plan has numerous flaws that should be fixed before it can take its desired effects.
The obvious problem is that this policy is not being enforced. People blatantly smoke in nonsmoking areas without facing any consequences. If the university is relying on the honor code, it’s falling flat. Smokers might be more inclined to smoke only in designated areas if the alternative meant a punishment.
Getting to these areas, however, can be inconvenient because they are located in places where students don’t tend to congregate. It’s frustrating to ditch your friends to smoke somewhere else, and this fact may further discourage smokers from abiding by the new initiative.
But a smoking area in the Rat’s outside patio, for example, wouldn’t be too inconvenient for nonsmokers and could give smokers the freedom to drink, eat and smoke.
Courtesy, however, is one thing that everyone should agree on. Smokers, please be considerate of those around you that may not want smoke blown in their faces.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.

September 28, 2011

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Shakey Rodriguez, the Miami high school basketball coaching legend, vividly remembers the first time ...

It was a good day for the Miami Hurricanes basketball team. They moved up to No. 6 in the AP Top 25 ...

Erykah Davenport and Shaneese Bailey made key plays back-to-back late in the game and four players s ...

1. MARLINS: Jeter's Fish trade Gordon. Stanton next?: While others spend -- like the Angels to ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Thursday: ▪ With the first ever early signing period just two we ...

Retired baseball star Alex Rodriguez gives "Major League" advice to UM’s fall graduating c ...

Becoming the Man of the Hour ...

Always a little bit of a flair for the dramatic. ...

A scholarship created by retired Major League Baseball star Alex Rodriguez and born out of his love ...

New Multi-State Institute Focuses on Reducing Damage from Severe Storms ...

Eighteen Hurricane student-athletes graduated from four schools and colleges at the University of Mi ...

Miami director of track and field/cross country Amy Deem's incredible career earned her a place ...

Check out the latest edition of Hurricane Magazine. ...

Members from the Miami track and field team spent the afternoon at the Boys and Girls Club in Miami ...

UM administrators, coaches and alums took part in yesterday's allCanes Holiday Shopping Spree f ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.