Duquesne students struggle to find places to smoke

By Shivani Gosai | Assistant Opinions Editor 

FILE - In this July 17, 2015, file photo, store manager Stephanie Hunt poses for photos with a pack of Marlboro cigarettes, an Altria brand, at a Smoker Friendly shop in Pittsburgh. Altria Group reports financial results on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

FILE – In this July 17, 2015, file photo, store manager Stephanie Hunt poses for photos with a pack of Marlboro cigarettes, an Altria brand, at a Smoker Friendly shop in Pittsburgh. Altria Group reports financial results on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

Last Thursday, a student-wide email was sent out from Dr. Douglas Frizzell, the vice president of Duquesne student life, reminding everyone of the campus smoking policy. The email was sent out due to a recent complaint of students smoking near the Towers Hall air vents, resulting in smoke getting into the building. The smoking policy states that smoking is prohibited in all university buildings as well as 25 feet in front of all building entrances or near air intake vents.

As everyone should know, smoking is incredibly bad for your health. I want to reiterate that throughout this article while considering the sides of both smoking and non-smoking students and faculty.

There are many cigarette butt receptacles located on campus; however, there is no specific designated smoking area for smokers. This is a common concern heard from many students who smoke, especially during the cold weather.

“The reason we smoke where we do is because, frankly, it’s cold as hell, and it’s windy,” said Jacob Proto, a sophomore mathematics major. “To make that fair for smokers and non-smokers is to put some kind of a designated smoking area where we can’t be in the wind. Also with the ashtrays: Put the ashtrays where you want us to smoke.”

Regarding the Towers smoke incident, secondhand smoke can be just as dangerous as cigarettes. According to the American Cancer Society, secondhand smoke is responsible for more than 45,000 deaths due to heart disease and about 3,400 deaths due to lung cancer in nonsmokers in the U.S. each year. It is inconsiderate to smoke near an air vent, but it is hard to believe anyone would do that purposely. To make sure building air vents are completely clear of smoke, a designated smoking area that protects smokers from wind would be beneficial.

“I don’t want to encourage smoking, but I do agree that if people need a designated place to smoke then maybe they should give them an area,” said Taylor Pasquarelli, a junior integrated marketing communications major.

If you do choose to smoke, you choose to accept the health conditions that come with it. The American Heart Association states that smoking is linked to about 90 percent of lung cancer cases in the United States.

This article does not condone smoking; I simply respect everyone’s choices. Since everyone on campus is an adult, you are able to decide whether you prefer to smoke or not. It is fair to say that no one should be subjected to unnecessary smoke in their building, and smokers should be given a proper area to smoke. Providing an area for smokers would not exactly encourage smoking, but instead keep the rest of campus free of smoke and therefore healthier.

The smoking policies are set in place to create a healthy environment for everyone on campus, and that can only be done by being considerate. To benefit both smokers and non-smokers, a comfortable designated area can prevent any future issues from arising on Duquesne’s campus.

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