Smoking zones are not necessary

Photo by Phil Velasquez/Chicago Tribune/MCT
Photo by Phil Velasquez/Chicago Tribune/MCT

By Patrick Cochran

There has been a recent push at City College to force students who smoke to only be allowed to do so in designated areas. The school is in the process of making this a reality.

Faculty members and students have been complaining to campus police about people smoking too close to doorways and the smell drifting into buildings, according to a recent article in The Guardsman.

State law prohibits smoking within 20 feet of any doorway, so most likely the cigarette smell is coming from irresponsible smokers not following the law.

Another reason given in the article for the creation of smoking zones is that students have caused fires in trash cans by trying to safely dispose of cigarette butts—instead of littering.

If City College were to install special receptacles in smoking areas, why not instead place some of these receptacles throughout campus, so students don’t have to choose between littering or starting a small-scale fire?

Cloud Hall is an area of campus where there have been a lot of complaints about cigarettes and the smell infiltrating buildings.

If the smell persists, then maybe campus smokers will have to concede defeat in that particular area for the greater good of everyone.

Having designated smoking areas, which would likely be in far-flung areas, may result in students breaking the rule.

Campus police might actually be forced to enforce the rule when they could be doing actual police work.

Compromise is possible. Smokers should respect the law prohibiting smoking near doorways. The school should provide special cigarette butt receptacles throughout campus.

There is no need to make this a contentious issue when common ground can certainly be found.

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