This item originally appeared in the April 8, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.
By ERIN HOPKINS
Smoking is a subject that affects students who smoke and who do not.
"No Smoking" signs can be seen in all the buildings on campus. Students can be seen smoking outside George T. Madison Hall or the Student Center either after or between classes.
How does this make most students feel?
Erin Sheehan, a sophomore psychology major, said she chooses to walk another way to class because of other students' habits.
"I go over [to the entrance] by Hale Hall to avoid the smoke," Sheehan said.
"I think [smokers] should either be so many feet from the building or in a central courtyard that doesn't have a lot of traffic."
According to http://www.quitsmoking.com, second-hand smoking accounts for as many as possibly 30,000 to 50,000 deaths annually from heart disease in non-smokers.
Chris Coleman, a senior electrical engineering major, said, "We have an obligation morally, if not legally, to respect people's right.
"I have a right to breathe clean air. They have the right to smoke, but that shouldn't infringe on the rights of others. It's an issue of common courtesy."
According to the Student Code of Conduct, smoking in the buildings was prohibited in 1989. However, the issue of where students smoke and don't smoke tends to be a difficult one.
"In a public area, it becomes a matter of public health, especially with second-hand smoke," Coleman said.
Dr. Lori Lindley, an assistant professor of psychology, shared a different opinion on the matter. She said smoking is a difficult subject because both smokers and non-smokers have rights.
"When you get in the outside area it's hard to designate where people should and shouldn't smoke," Lindley said.
Students who smoke do not seem to mind having to walk outside to have a cigarette. During the day, students can be seen smoking while sitting at the tables outside the Student Center.
Tadd Stevens, a senior environmental science and political science double major, said, "I don't think people should be able to smoke inside the building, that's rude. But anybody who tries to impose on me to not smoke outside, that's rude too."
Jeremy Penn, a student sitting outside GTM and a freshman history major, shared the same opinion as Stevens.
"I don't mind having to smoke outside, that's just common sense," Penn said.
Some students do not really seem to be bothered by the smoke at all.
"As long as the smoke stays outside, I don't mind," Amanda Peeler, a sophomore architecture major, said.
Smoking is not a healthy habit. Students have the option to either smoke or not to smoke and also share different opinions on the matter.