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Discriminating against smokers again

Tiffany Oliver

Issue date: 11/20/09 Section: Opinion
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Case Western Reserve University, along with many other colleges, has created designated smoking areas (DSAs) around campus. The goal is to isolate non-smokers from second hand smoke, for various reasons. Such action is becoming more common around college campuses, especially at public colleges. The policy effectively corrals smokers into isolated areas separated from the more ideal areas, such as obscure pieces of grass on the outskirts of campus. Not only are smokers asked to move incontinently to university-designated areas, but there is also a shortage of designated smoking areas. There are no DSAs on the quad, and students are threatened by university security with citations if they smoke outside the DSAs. It seems that the only people to actually voice displeasure with those who smoke outside the DSA are university employees, not students. Rarely have I witnessed a student confront a peer with the request that the smoker move to a DSA or put out their cigarette. Rather, the common reaction is a look of disgust and a hurried walk to get away from the smoker.

Discriminatory policies toward smokers are not new, and are becoming more common in a society that increasingly views smoking as socially unacceptable. This negative stigma cast on smokers may explain why there was little uproar when the House passed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, a bill that grants the FDA the authority to regulate the tobacco industry by controlling advertising and banning flavored cigarettes. Perhaps there would be more outrage if legislation affected a more socially acceptable industry, such as fast food, there would most likely be the typical cry of 'too much government intervention.' The argument for supporting the legislation includes preventing youth from smoking. But for some reason it is acceptable for alcohol companies to target young people in their advertisements, despite the known risks of alcohol consumption. In short, there is an acceptable presence of policy aimed at targeting tobacco companies and smokers, and these policies are not challenged to the same degree as other regulatory legislation because smoking is deemed to be a socially intolerable behavior.
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    posted 11/20/09 @ 2:11 PM EST

    I 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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