Stop smoking in smoke-free areas

Breaking news: the smoke-free corridor policy does apply to you. Yes, you. All of you. Literally all of us.

I’ve long laughed at people who smoke on campus directly under signs that forbid it. The irony is pretty funny. Now that we have shifted all designated smoking areas farther from the core of campus and people are still lighting up in the bus loop, my laughter has died. I’m just angry.

Smoking is your choice, yes. But it should also be my choice. I don’t smoke and I don’t vape because that is my decision and it is violated when I’m forced to walk through clouds of grossness while waiting for a bus or heading to class. Smoking is unhealthy and that’s no secret – so why are you subjecting me to health risks from your decision?

We all know in the year of our Lord 2019 that second-hand smoke is a real health concern. Recklessly exposing others to your death cloud is not okay.

Even with vape smoke, vulnerable persons are still at risk. There are people with asthma and other health concerns and conditions on campus who are affected by your smoke, whether or not it has tobacco in it. I’ve had to sit with a friend having a combined asthma attack and a panic attack from a smoke machine before, and I trust she would have some choice words for anyone so inclined to disrespect her health and safety.

There are signs about the new policy and many news outlets have covered it, including your favourite (only) student-run newspaper at Brock (The Brock Press). There are no excuses for continuing to disrespect our community by smoking in smoke-free zones.

As always, I am not saying you shouldn’t smoke. That is your decision. What I’m saying is that you need to do it in a place and in a way that won’t harm others.

Like many of my pet peeves, this seems to boil down to entitlement. I don’t know if people who are smoking at the bus loop feel like they’re the one exception but it comes across like they think their convenience is more important than the health, safety and happiness of the rest of the community.

You are not special. You are not more deserving of space than others. Go smoke where you’re supposed to.

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