Smoking policy creates controversy among smokers, non-smokers

Nathan Kubicek

With an increasing number of city and state governments, such as he recent example of Arkansas, enforcing “no-smoking” policies in public places, college students are becoming inquisitive about smoking policies on their own campus.

Smoking has been prohibited in Missouri Southern campus buildings for many years, but the current rule on campus is that smoking is banned within 50 feet of any building entrance.

Many people on campus say this ordinance has had little effect on smokers. One issue is that building entrances are often accompanied by ashtrays.

“The ashtrays are right next to the doors,” said Jennifer Brachon, sophomore undecided major. “How are we going to put out cigarettes without littering if we aren’t supposed to go near the ashtrays?”

Both smokers and nonsmokers, believe this arrangement is a contraction of the non-smoking policy.

“I think it’s kind of ridiculous,” said Colby Elbert, junior psychology major. “If they want to enforce the policy, they should move all the ashtrays away from the doors.”

Other non-smokers recognize a contradiction, but don’t consider it a major problem:

“I definitely think it’s ironic that signs say ‘no smoking’ but all ashtrays are right next to the doorways,” said Dakota Hosp, recent graduate of Missouri Southern and patron of Spiva Library.

“However, it doesn’t bother me to walk through a little smoke. If I had a reason to hang out outside the doors, it might bother me more,” Hosp said.

Kris Lowry, senior sociology major, doesn’t enjoy smelling like smoke but doesn’t believe there should be a fine for smoking by buildings.

“Maybe people don’t know what the policy actually is,” Lowry said.

Though Southern does have a no smoking policy within 50 feet of all buildings, there currently is no penalty for violating the policy.