Though not officially recognized, I consider the students on campus who smoke cigarettes to be a subculture of their own, even if I do not smoke cigarettes.

I also believe that Pacific is a home to them just as much as it is to non-smokers; both parties are part of the same community and home could be defined as a place in which you can do want you want, within reason. And I believe that continuing to allow students to smoke in designated areas around campus is surely within reason.

Even as a non-smoker, I consider the idea of this ban to be counter-productive for multiple reasons. First, the ban would create more work for student conduct and Campus Public Safety (CPS). As if they had enough on their plates already, from defending campus from offenders who look like cracked-out versions of Dumbledore to responding to the ridiculously abundant amount of unnecessary noise complaint write-ups from certain resident assistants. The CPS officers and people on the student conduct board already have enough to deal with as it is. Enforcing the smoking ban would make things even more difficult for them.

As mentioned earlier, Pacific is home to the smoking students just as much as it is to the non-smoking students. By putting this ban into place, the administration would be alienating a large part of the campus community. I feel that the administration is taking on the initiative to ban smoking from campus without there even being some kind of public outcry to do so. All this does is needlessly alienate the students that smoke.

Earlier in this debate, it has been argued that it is “unfair for non-smoking students and faculty to be forced to breathe in these chemicals while walking to their destinations.” That is a good point, you are quite likely to walk past someone who could be smoking while on your way to somewhere else. However, this does not change the fact that the person you pass was there before you, and after you. They did not cross you, you crossed them. Many smokers I have spoken to have carefully articulated to me that they try not to smoke near other people. However, if people come into that area, they also do not see it as fair that they should have to move, as they were occupying that space first.

In the matter of secondhand smoke, statistics estimating the risks associated with its inhalation are primarily based on indoor tests, with longer-term exposure than simply walking by a smoker.

While 25 percent is an accurate estimate for indoors, you are receiving far less as a result of limited outdoor exposure. Considering the number of carcinogens put off by the inordinate number of trucks here in Forest Grove, I would almost say it is negligible.

So, with these reasons in mind, I stand behind allowing smokers to continue to smoke in their designated areas.

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