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Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

I read Adam Blackwell’s article on September 20th, and I feel that his opinion on the smoke free policy had a few flaws.
First, his using the ban on cigarettes in “the workplace, bars or restaurants” was completely irrelevant to the situation. Those are enclosed buildings, and I don’t believe anyone is asking to be allowed to smoke in any buildings on campus.
Next he asked if “students had such a problem with this policy shouldn’t they have voiced this concern after the legislation was passed?” Why yes, yes we do have a problem with the policy, and I have heard many students and faculty voicing their discontent over the issue. Also I think that students should have been made aware of the policy before it was passed. I must have missed that memo.
His next issue is “inhaling smoke” when he had to walk through the smoking areas for a class or meeting. Here’s a funny idea: don’t walk through the smoking areas! He also claims that the new policy is easier to enforce. I don’t see why UPD couldn’t write someone a ticket if they were not in a designated smoking area. Were they somehow blind before the new policy and miraculously now they can see?
The last point I take issue with is that the landscape will suffer from cigarette butts. Yes it will suffer, but with designated smoking areas at least there was a place to put the cigarette butt after smoking. Now we have smokers just throwing them anywhere because there is no where to put them. People are going to continue to smoke on campus whether it’s smoke free or not. At least with the designated smoking areas the smokers can be confined to specific places on campus and can be avoided by non-smokers. The university should have enforced the old policy and should have done a better job of advertising the location of the smoking areas to smokers and non-smokers.
I also encourage everyone to attend the townhall meeting on Sept. 26th at 6:00pm and lend your voice to whichever side you are on. I know I will.
Bryce McClendon
Senior History Major
Columbia, Miss.