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Discriminating against smokers again

Tiffany Oliver

Issue date: 11/20/09 Section: Opinion
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Now the DSA may seem like a reasonable policy, ensuring that non-smokers do not have to inhale cigarette fumes, but it really just exhibits the hypocrisy of policymakers. Case currently allows campus vehicles to drive freely on and around campus. And it is not uncommon to see such vehicles parked around campus with the engines still on. Both university employees and students can be seen driving their vehicles onto walkways that are typically reserved for pedestrians, but rarely are these violators met with the same disgust as smokers are. Motor vehicles are the ultimate symbol of selfish pollution, not cigarettes. People drive a vehicle that pollutes the surrounding air and are completely unaffected by their own cars emission. Smokers' actions are limited to affecting themselves, with a brief inhalation of secondhand smoke being the extent of harm done to non-smokers. It baffles me how it is acceptable for Case vehicles to drive on campus without getting tickets when a smoker receives a written citation for smoking outside the DSA. The irony is when police cars drive toward a student to issue a citation, leaving the car parked and running.

The sad part is very few students seem to care enough about secondhand smoke to ask smokers to move to the DSA, which signifies to the smoker that most people are apathetic to secondhand smoke, or view it as a tolerable temporary inconvenience. The reason such a policy is accepted without much complaint is that smokers are consistently treated as second-class citizens when it comes to tobacco related policies, and few people are willing to defend smokers. If the campus is dedicated to clean air around campus, then they should prosecute drivers to the same degree that they prosecute smokers, if the aim of the DSA policy is to protect non-smokers from emissions that are considered harmful. However, if the goal of the DSA is not to isolate students from second hand smoke, and there is general acceptance of vehicle emissions, then it seems that the purpose of the policy is instead to inconvenience smokers in an attempt to discourage a behavior that is considered undesirable. Either way, there seems to be little reason for the continued presence of the DSA.
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    smoker

    posted 11/20/09 @ 2:11 PM EST

    I agree....it is the personal preference of every idividual as to what they put into their bodies. Like the article says the DSA's are few and far between on campus. (Continued…)

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    Social Smoker

    posted 11/20/09 @ 3:55 PM EST

    I am a social smoker and I feel that there should be separate places for smokers. I know when I am not smoking, I don't want to smell or breath it, and it is so gross. (Continued…)

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