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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    If Students Will, Smoke Won’t Kill

    Beginning in the Fall of 2007, or rather as early as July 2007 for those staying in the summer, smoking will be prohibited in all residence halls. While the decision was purely made by the SUNY Board of Trustees, the University administration has chosen to implement it wholeheartedly.

    The change is undoubtedly a blessing for most residents. Not only will this create a healthier living environment in our living spaces, but given the little objection, it will be received better and thus, truly enacted for all practical purposes. There will now be fewer cigarettes stuffed in building crevices, or cigarette burns in residence hall carpeting. In the long run, this policy will benefit the students as much as the administration, with lower cost for building improvements. Most significantly, consider the appealing prospect of fewer fire alarms.

    But while it is one thing to ban something, it is another to implement it. If administrators, including Residence Hall Directors, would make the effort to accommodate those who can’t smoke indoors anymore, then perhaps we can see this policy in action. The University should provide outdoor smoking areas with benches and receptacles located within a certain distance of the residence halls. Let’s accept it, when those who smoke can’t smoke indoors, are they really going to give it up? Before they tamper with the smoking detectors, or fill the entrance to the residence halls with unwarranted smoke, let’s give them a space to practice their desires uninhibitedly.

    Of course, this ban should be a starting point. The long term goal shouldn’t be to simply please a large segment of the student body. Instead, it should be to raise awareness about the negative implications of smoking, notably second-hand smoke. The University has already taken steps towards this by instituting days, such as, Earthstock Day, Fire Safety Exposition etc. We shouldn’t be too far from a Smoking Kills Exposition.

    As for those who will complain that this is an infringement of their rights, they should simply ask themselves whether their act of smoking is an infringement on other student’s rights. If the answer is yes, you know where you have to relocate.

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