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YouSpeak: When Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Should smoking be banned on campus?


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Two weeks ago, the City University of New York banned smoking on all 23 of its campuses, just the latest in a growing number of colleges to prohibit smoking.

More than 300 U.S. colleges and universities have enacted antismoking measures both inside and outside campus buildings.

In this week’s “YouSpeak” we ask: “Should smoking be banned on campus?”

YouSpeak” appears each Monday.

If you have a suggestion for a question we should ask, post it in the comments section below.

Nicolae Ciorogan can be reached at ciorogan@bu.edu. Joseph Chan can be reached at joechan@bu.edu. John O’Rourke can be reached at orourkej@bu.edu.


107 Comments on YouSpeak: When Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

  • Jessica on 02.07.2011 at 4:31 am

    When Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

    Ban smoking all you want, but give us (the smokers) back our taxes.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 5:25 am

    If BU bans smoking on campus, it’s going to have a hard time enforcing the rule. The CUNY system is different because it’s newly adopted rule reflects the growing anti-smoking campaign/legislation in New York. Also, what poor planning on BU’s part to ban smoking on the steps of Mugar during finals week last year. Are you asking for people to disobey the rules?

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 6:59 am

    Anyone who thinks BU should/can ban smoking is out of their mind. If they can ban that, there’s no limit to the other things they can ban. Blue shirts are legal, maybe they’ll try banning those next. We need designated smoking areas and the bupd to enforce the current policies of not smoking within 50 ft of doors on campus. Anyone who stands right outside a door, blowing their smoke into countless peoples faces is rude and deserves a fine, but in no way does any university have the right to tell its students what LEGAL things they can and can not do.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 7:04 am

    smoking on campus

    When it becomes illegal to smoke, sure. I’m pretty sure it’s not yet.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 7:14 am

    Smoking on Campus

    Most students are unaware of the ability of local public health departments to enforce various codes and bylaws. It is currently ILLEGAL to smoke within 50 feet of some buildings and the BU campus buildings are included. At the very least, no one should have to walk through a cloud of smoke to get to his/her class or dormitory. Please enforce these codes – NO SMOKING WITHIN 50 FEET OF BUILDINGS!!!!!!

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 7:43 am

    smoke ban

    i approve.

    the motto could be simple:


    the way to stop smoking is to start with young BEFORE they are
    completely addicted, and most 17y old freshman are not.


  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 7:56 am


    I can’t walk anywhere on campus without feeling like I am going to get lung cancer from all the second hand smoke!! Smoking should be baned on campus for everyone who cares about their lungs and their health (especially athletes!!)

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 8:20 am

    For the safety of the non-smokers many rules are already established. I know I need to stand outside, when the weather is 5 degrees and there is tons of snow everywhere and I still enjoy my cigs. For something that is not illegal, there are already enough obstacles. If you don’t want to smoke, good for you. Let us be.

  • JC on 02.07.2011 at 8:20 am


    Smoking is disgusting and allowing it is just promoting it. There are consequences afflicted upon every student versus those who are smoking and say that “it’s my choice my lungs.” In reality, YOUR smoke is getting into MY lungs and i don’t appreciate it at all. It is unavoidable and BU has a responsibility to keep it’s students safe and healthy.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 8:22 am

    Yes! Yes! Yes!

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 8:28 am

    Not realistic

    It’s simply not realistic for BU to ban smoking. I’m sorry! This isn’t because I’m a smoker, it’s just because of the campus we have set up. We don’t have a typical “college campus” where you can “ban smoking”. There are people who are not BU students who need to use our roads and our streets, and if there was a “smoking ban” on the area that affected people other than students.. That’d be ridiculous.

    We are adults, and more than capable of making our own decisions. That’s what college is about – teaching us to make our own decisions. And that is the decision to smoke or not to smoke. There are not that many smokers outside of classrooms, you are not at risk of ‘second hand smoke’ if you walk by someone for two seconds who is smoking a cigarette, and I just simply dont see how it is anyone’s business to tell a student that they can and cannot smoke in college.

    How would you all feel if they took your precious alcohol away from you? Or caffeine? Or your adderral during finals week?

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 8:28 am

    Although it’s going to be a struggle to enforce this law, and the smokers themselves will have a real problem, I approve. There’s nothing worse than being trapped behind someone smoking while walking to class, and having all their smoke fly into your face. I’m tired of smelling it in the stairwells of the dorms (which in itself is illegal), and I am worried about what all this smoke is doing to our health. I agree with one of the comments above; perhaps, instead of an outright ban, smokers will ONLY be allowed to smoke 50 feet away from a building.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 8:28 am

    Absolutely not. In fact. smokers are already treated like second class citizens. We are not a democracy wherein the mob rules rather we are a representative republic wherein people have a right to peruse happiness so long as they are not “deliberately” harming others. This witch hunt levied against smokers and secondhand smoke is becoming ridiculous. Assigning designated areas for smokers is reasonable, anything beyond that is bordering on totalitarian nonsense.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 8:31 am

    the big ban

    I support this initiative. Smoking near buildings that large amounts of students use daily is, quite frankly, annoying. Even when I did smoke, I didn’t want to do it in the paths of nonsmokers. It infringes on everyone’s health, and while smokers are keen to risk their health, nonsmokers are not. They shouldn’t have to walk through puffs of smoke on their way to class, the gym, the library, etc. just because you *need* your cigarette.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 8:31 am

    For one to equate carcinogenic substances with “blue shirts” shows just how confused/weak pro-smoking arguments are. “Blue shirts” aren’t a public health issue and don’t impinge on a stranger’s ability to live a healthy life. And, similarly, as a private institution, BU actually does “have the right” to determine the legality of many things at the institution. To think otherwise is to misunderstand the issues. Yes, enforcement is an issue. Anyone walking to Mugar Library can clearly see the signs that state smoking is prohibited on the steps, walkway, etc…and most people smoke right under the sign in defiance or sheer ignorance. So, it becomes the job of the public to point out the sign each time and hope that a modicum of shame infects the nonconformists to where they abide by the law in the future.

  • Jason on 02.07.2011 at 8:33 am

    Silly College Students, BU is Private

    Silly college students. BU is a private institution and can prohibit smoking on its property the same as you can prohibit smoking on your personal property. Governmental regulation arguments do not apply here.

  • J Holsapple MD on 02.07.2011 at 8:34 am

    Ban Smoking on Campus

    1) tobacco smoke is toxic
    2) second hand exposure is known to be harmful
    3) outdoor second hand exposures (acute doses) may be as high as those experienced indoors (see Repace et al)
    4) personal freedoms have arguable barriers that correspond to rights of others to avoid unwanted exposure to health risks

    –> use of tobacco (burned) on campus (including outdoor locations) should be eliminated

    5) creation of smoking zones (smoking rooms, huts, etc) cannot guarantee protection to bystanders — and only exposure addicts to increased levels of toxins

    –> “safer” use of tobacco on campus cannot be achieved via utilization of designated smoking areas and should not be explored.

    6) tobacco smoke contains multiple, high-grade carcinogens

    7) there are no known, well-defined “safe” levels of exposure to tobacco smoke

    –> there is no way to achieve safe utilization of tobacco for addicts or bystanders, indoors or out.

    –> tobacco use on campus should be eliminated


  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 8:35 am

    Create designated smoking areas. Our classmates are allowed to smoke legally, but that does not give them a free pass to bother other people with secondhand smoke. I also think that the sight of a bunch of sudents smoking outside a building is an eyesore.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 8:36 am

    smoking ban

    YES YES YES I have never seen so many young people smoking cigarettes– it was one of the first thing I mentioned about BU to friends/family. It is unhealthy and should be more regulated. I understand smoking is not illegal, but when it directly affects others (ie near dorms, buildings, etc) it can be dangerous, or at the very least unpleasant. A smoking ban would really help clean up BU and is a necessary step in bettering the health of students.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 8:40 am


    I find myself holding my breath everywhere I go so as not to inhale secondhand smoke. It is not fair and it is so unappealing. It should be banned.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 8:42 am

    How about controlling drinking first?

    Getting ahead of yourselves there huh? You get hundreds of students going out drinking underage Friday and Saturday nights, and people are worried about smokers, who can be avoided. Walking behind a smoker? Walk past him. The streets on Commonwealth are pretty pretty big. Walking out of a building, where the front is filled by smokers? There is another exit. It’s not just? Well, you worried about your health so much. But I must agree with the Mugar Library anti-smokers. Obviously there is a sign that prohibits smoking on the steps and near the doors. The security student/security officers should keep an eye out.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 9:03 am


    I think there should be “Designated Smoking Areas,” and if anyone smokes outside of these areas they should be fined.

  • joey on 02.07.2011 at 9:07 am


    All these kids who are smoking on campus, in front of their dorms are all posers. They are smoking because they aren’t next to their parents, and because they think they look cool. I think the ban would be good cause they just don’t know how retarded they look trying to be cool by smoking and plus its annoying to walk by 6 kids standing around the doorway trying to “fit in”. my $.02

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 9:07 am

    I think smoking should be banned outside the buildings because honestly people are so rude and blow clouds of smoke in my face(and when you’re sick, it makes it even work). Get more BUPD to enforce simple as that. BU has the money for it. Boston should start becoming like NYC and attempting to create a strong anti-smoking campaign. I mean if NYC, the crazy bustling city can do it, so can Boston and BU could always take part in that since it is so large. And people who think that will lead to a domino effect to what they can ban next is stupid because they just want to be able to smoke whatever they want and let other non-smokers suffer. Secondhand smoke is a bigger issue than people make it out to be. Be reasonable.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 9:08 am

    A smoking ban, while good for the majority would be too difficult to enforce. The 50 foot ban would do the job, as the majority of issues come when entering dormitories and classrooms.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 9:18 am

    Yes, I came from a University where you would never even so much as see a cigarette butt on the ground. It is a disgusting mess here–I’ve walked by people and gotten a face-full of smoke at least once a week since I’ve been here. The environment here is horrible mostly due to smoking on campus. Please, please, please do something about it.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 9:22 am

    I do not think smoking should be banned.
    As others have mentioned, BU does not have the “closed campus” area, but it’s spread. What if a smoker happens to be walking on Com Ave. on a Saturday? does it mean they cannot smoke, simply because they are by the campus? and the streets are not that crowded…
    That would be ridiculous… Maybe BU should put like 5 foot ban, or signs in front of the dorms, like the one in front of the library and make sure it’s enforced, but banning it completely sounds very unrealistic and illogical.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 9:24 am

    If you didn’t want people blowing smoke at your face, you should have gotten in to a better school.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 9:27 am

    Smoking on-campus

    As I understand it, the City of Boston has no jurisdiction with regards to enforcing public smoking boundaries. The city is able to make recommendations to property owners (in this case, BU) but the gov’t. cannot mandate and/or enforce a policy.

    If the university were to implement a non-smoking policy, I cannot imagine it being feasible for BUPD to enforce a campus-wide policy. This is simply not a wise use of resources.

    If you are going to smoke, you should be aware of your surroundings. Let’s be honest – all smokers are aware of the health risks associated with the habit. In addition to health risks, there is an implied simple common courtesy with regards to second-hand smoke as well as the disposal of cigarette butts.

    Are you smoking in an area where pedestrian traffic is entering/exiting a building or walking by? Are you smoking near open office or residence hall windows, where the smoke may be drawn in?

    How is your choice to smoke impacting others?

    Smokers have rights – with those rights come responsibilities.

    Please be considerate of others –

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 9:30 am

    I don't think so.

    Honestly I think smoking is not such a big deal as we are “Grown Ups” and should be able to do as we seem is okay. I think really the times people get smoke blown into their face might mainly be between classes when people are jumbled together and in that case I understand that the person smoking should be considerate. However I think smoking should not be banned because it is something people want to do and no on should be able to take away my right if I feel like smoking. If you want to ban smoking then you could easily say we should ban drinking for people because while not all people drive after they drink some do and sadly some of those kill people quicker than a little clean air diluted puff ball of smoke can really do. And if we ban drinking for some it should be banned for everybody, because with this smoking ban you would be banning it from people who have never blown a cloud of smoke in anyone’s face and has always been a thoughtful of other smoker.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 9:32 am

    Banning smoking on campus?

    Banning smoking on campus is an interesting question. Smokers would argue that their rights were being infringed upon, non-smokers argue that their rights are already being infringed upon by secondhand smoke. Now I would be all for banning smoking on campus due to the secondhand smoke issues, IF those who are bothered by it were more vocal about asking smokers to move back or simply put their smoke out if it was necesssary. Now I understand smokers upset you and you feel that you shouldn’t have to ask, but smoking is a privelage granted to those who choose to and you don’t really have the right to take that away from us who truly enjoy it. Designated smoking areas I simply find offensive, I dont live in an airport don’t give me that B.S. I don’t require idiots who drink 4loko to stay in certain areas on campus while they drink. Why, you ask? well thats easy. because that is a ridiculous request to make of a person. And yes, as long as it is not law; I will always consider a policy such as that to be nothing more (and sometimes less) than a request.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 9:33 am

    I agree that a smoking ban would be difficult to enforce, but for non-smokers having to walk through a puff of smoke, having it linger on clothes and hair and simply not being able to enjoy a breath of fresh air, it’s well worth the trouble.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 9:38 am

    Smokers and Non-smokers "Rights"

    I hear a lot of smokers making the claim that they “have the right to smoke”. That’s good for you. With the same token, Non-smokers have and should have the right not to inhale the smoke of smokers! Stop trying to compare behaviors that have 2 different implications. If you smoke, it creates adverse health risks for others…If you drink, I’m not sure what adverse health risk it causes for others except when people make irrational decisions to lead to injury of innocent people. In the case of smoking, for a lot of people, it causes headaches, sickness, and all sorts of health problems that they are not even asking for. With all the problems life alone can deal people, why do Non-smokers have to sit back and force health risks from smoking. Non-smokers shouldn’t have to avoid smokers, it should be the other way around! I am all for “Rights” but it needs to be fair to all party’s especially when it comes to HEALTH. You want to poison your lungs, you have the right to do so, you DO NOT have the right to poison everyone elses!

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 9:39 am

    I think a ban would be way too difficult to enforce, and I think those who smoke should be able to do so on campus, but I don’t think their smoking should affect those of us who don’t smoke. I think a ban from smoking near building entrances, or having certain designated smoking areas would do the trick.
    Also…I’m fine with people’s choice to smoke, but I’m not okay with the fact that they just throw the butts on the ground…since when is that not littering and since when is that okay? Is it seriously too hard to find a trash can? There’s one like every 5 feet on campus, use your legs guys.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 9:44 am

    Please ban, for the sake of public health

    Please pass that ban as soon as possible. Also, BU police should execute the ban in all major entrances of buildings.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 9:46 am

    Do it

    Enforcing rules about distances from doorways would be great, but what about the runners and bikers? People have a right to exercise without inhaling more toxic chemicals than you already get living in a city this size. Asking politely doesn’t always work and people often get very defensive. Get the smokers off the street. Make a smoking lounge somewhere where people can smoke during finals in the company of other smokers only. Ever think that smoke everywhere might be a stressor to nonsmokers?

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 9:47 am


    I really do think it should be enacted. I am so tired of having to not breathe while people are smoking around me. You aren’t allowed to smoke near a high school, why shouldn’t it be the same for a higher education school system. I am also tired of people coming into my class having just smoked. The smell is terrible. Also, with all this snow the butts are more pronounced and people have been making a joke of it, not only that but leaving trash on top of the snow mounds. Come on, seriously? Anyway, digression. As long as its reasonably enforced and enacted I really do think we need to ban it. I am getting aggravated that whenever I leave class, I have to be in the presence of a few smokers.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 9:47 am

    This is not limited to just students. I am a staff member at BU and am inflicted with second-hand smoke produced by my fellow BU employees every day. Even when I’m at my reception desk on the second floor of my building, I am still graced by the putrid smell of the smoke that clings to people’s clothes that they carry in with them up the stairs and past my desk.

    Right, smoking, in and of itself, is legal for all those over the age of 18. So is drinking alcohol for those of us over the age of 21. If cigarette breaks are permitted even though the hard science that proves that they are harmful to others (who may choose not to smoke), then, according to the ever-popular legality argument, we should permit people to take alcohol breaks. Sure, a single cigarette isn’t going to give anyone cancer, but a single can of beer isn’t going to make a drinker drunk. Sounds preposterous, right? Well so is that whole legality argument!

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 9:53 am

    As a smoker, I am constantly worried about inconveniencing others while I’m smoking. I’d say smokers probably aren’t as rude (at least not intentionally) as non-smokers like to think they are. Unless the sidewalk is clear, I have stopped even bothering to try smoking while walking because I’m too worried about it blowing into some one’s face. Banning smoking would be, as some one mentioned, unfair to both students, employees and visitors to the school. If you want to clean up the campus, put trash cans near areas where people smoke. They WILL use them if they’re there. Designated smoking areas would be a good idea as well, as long as they’re still reasonable distances from everything and clearly marked.

    Smokers are already pretty much shunned on this campus. Enough is enough.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 9:55 am

    Smoking hurts

    Secondhand smoke isnt just inconvenient. I have extremely mild asthma and walking through a cloud of smoke (ie at the law school doors) right before I enter the building literally hurts. I wish BU would enforce their existing smoking regulations, but perhaps it would be easier and a clearer message to just ban it on campus completely. Hopefully BU administrators are reading this?

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 9:59 am

    Waste of Time. All of this.

    Hey anti-smokers? Find a better issue to stomp your feet and throw a hissy fit over… seriously. I mean, is this really the biggest issue you’re concerned with in your life? Leave the people who decide to smoke alone, and stop trying to attack everyone because they choose not to live the exact same life you do.

    Besides, you’re fooling yourselves if you don’t think marijuana will be legal everywhere by the end of this decade. There’s absolutely no scientific evidence that marijuana is remotely dangerous enough to warrant its use being criminalized, anyway. Regardless, considering it’s on the ballot in 2012, something tells me it won’t be just tobacco smoke you guys will be complaining about next year!

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 9:59 am

    I went to a University that limits smoking on campus. One must stand at least 50 ft from a building and inside the “designated smoking areas.” These areas were really nice gazebos scattered around campus. They also set up those cigarette cones to decrease trash can fires. If you get caught tossing a butt on the ground or smoking outside of the gazebo, you ran the risk of getting a $25 ticket. Our public safety officers tried to enforce these rules but one could still walk through clouds of smoke while trying to get to class and the dorms with balconies were hardly controlled at all. I appreciated the efforts because I am a non-smoker but my school’s campus had a population of 5,000.. It seems almost impossible to imagine enforcing those rules on more than 5 times the students.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 10:00 am

    What do you mean “use another entrance/exit?!!?” There’s only one door from the outside that will get me to my office! One! And that ONE door is more often than not blocked by people smoking. My coats are getting to the point where they are carrying around a tinge of smoke within their fibers. These smokers aren’t even students, they’re UNIVERSITY EMPLOYEES!

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 10:11 am

    Many of the comments here are just expressions of two conflicting human values: 1) wanting to be healthy and 2) being too lazy to do the work yourself.

    First stop doing all the majority of the harm to yourselves by drinking dangerous amounts of alcohol and stuffing your faces with fatty and disgusting food. Then maybe I’ll buy into this lame argument that the marginal health effects from second hand smoking is the reason why people should quit.

    Until then buy a can of febreeze and spray your fancy coats. Life stinks sometimes, get over it.

  • Ken Westhassel on 02.07.2011 at 10:18 am

    Smoking on Campus

    Smoking on B.U.’s campus is banned by signage in certain areas, outside of Mugar Library for example. But not a day goes by that non-smokers are forced to walk through a haze of cigarette smoking because no one from the Library or University chooses to enforce the signs that have been posted reading “Smoking is banned on the platform, stairs, and ramp.” Unless the signs that B.U. puts up are enforced, what good is the waste of time, money, and so-called concern for those who are non-smokers?

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 10:18 am

    Right to Clean Air Trumps Right to Smoke

    Completely agree with banning smoking on campus. It’s so irritating the level of disrespect smokers have on BU’s campus. Mugar Library clearly has a sign that says something like, “no smoking on platform or stairs.” Over half of the time I walk in there, there are a few students inches from the automatic doors smoking and I half to walk directly through their cloud holding my breath and sometimes it still makes you cough. Not to mention, walking up and down Commonwealth, the frequency of having someone 10 feet in front of you smoking and every puff they take blows directly back into your face. You really can’t walk on campus for more than 5 minutes without being exposed to secondhand smoke. People should be free to do what they want as long as they’re not harming any else that aren’t consenting.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 10:22 am

    So many of you are saying “It’s illegal to smoke within 50ft of buildings!” and “Security should enforce it more!” but shouldn’t smokers just take responsibility to stand where they should be standing and take notice of signs that say “no smoking?” Do any of you realize how many times security at the library DOES go out and say “please move back?” or “please don’t smoke in this area”? Smokers typically don’t listen to them and just disregard the signs. They don’t realize how much they smell, and they don’t realize what their smoking does to the lungs of other people. I’m sure many of them would say it isn’t a big deal or that they do try to “respect others”, but given the sensitivity levels of many asthmatics out there, simply the stench of cigarettes that sticks to the jackets and hair of smokers is enough to cause a minor asthma attack. No, you aren’t respecting other people. You’re justifying your right to destroy your lungs without caring that you are hurting others too. And banning smoking or creating designated smoking areas isn’t go to do anything about it because smokers won’t listen anyway. They need their quick “pick-me-up” on their walk from the car to their office, or from their dorm to their class.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 10:32 am

    the modicum of shame on all you non conformists! you darn rebels you

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 10:34 am

    Smoking outside is fine although I wish that they would stay further away from entrances and exits. It’s the people who don’t even bother going outside to smoke that bother me. A lot of people smoke in the stairwells (especially at Warren Towers) and by the time other people smell the smoke, the perpetrators are gone. Many people on my floor have asthma and even if I personally don’t, I still dislike the smell. So for people who smoke on the stairwells, PLEASE GO OUTSIDE.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 10:34 am

    Smoking while walking to class...

    The most disgusting, annoying thing about the smoking on this campus is that many smokers choose to walk up Commonwealth Ave while smoking. There’s no way to avoid the second hand smoke in this case, and I’ve been stuck walking behind chain smokers MANY times on the 20 minute walk from Kenmore to CFA. Once someone walking in front of me flicked the ash off their cigarette and the wind blew it into my face!

    I understand that it’s a bad habit that people have the choice to make, but if you don’t give yourself enough time to just park it and smoke then it’s your own fault!

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 10:37 am

    There should be a smoking room like they have in the airports where smokers go inside to smoke and die twice – from smoking and from second hand smoking from each other.
    Every time I walk past a smoker, it makes me want to throw up. They smell disgusting.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 10:47 am

    Fighting the wrong battle

    I would bet every one of you writing on or reading this article all have close friends that take to smoking on a daily basis. So why are smokers and non-smokers treating each other with such hostility? While enacting a ban of smoking on or near the campus or its building is plausible, enforcing it (as many of you have already said) is another issue entirely. Do we have the facility employees to enforce these rules? It certainly wouldn’t be the BUPD. Instead of effectively trying to kick smokers off campus, lets spend more time and money getting students (and faculty) to stop smoking for good. Doesn’t it make more sense to fight the bigger battle, and get our community to live a healthier life while also appeasing those who are tired of the second hand effects? Raising prices would be the obvious answer to this issue, as price hikes in cigarettes have seen an extremely effective response in deterring the smoking population, especially in the college student demographic. This isn’t so easily done as it is said, of course, but these are just suggestions. Also, consider how smoking bans might effect undergraduate admission? Do fresh out of high school students want to attend a private university that doesn’t allow them to smoke? Maybe they do… Who knows. Consider the other affects these measures might have too. Either way, it would be much more effective to combat smokers by getting them to quit than to take their guilty pleasures somewhere else.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 10:53 am

    Most other colleges though are more campus-like. BU just runs down a major boston road. How are you going to ban smoking on commonwealth? It’s not just students that walk down it.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 10:55 am

    Extreme Measures Won't Work

    Putting designated smoking areas around campus would probably be the best solution to the problem – they give smokers a place to smoke and non-smokers won’t dare walk near them. Banning smoking on campus sounds like a great idea but its not going to stop the thousands of people addicted to nicotine. Last I checked, coke was still illegal but people still do it.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 10:55 am

    I sincerely hope that this comment thread isn’t the sole bases for this question, only people offended enough to comment do and make a huge deal about sharing the sidewalks a little. I’m not a cigarette smoker and I don’t like the smell but you deal with it because they have as much right to smoke as anyone does to vote. I understand no smoking by entrances, but all of campus and public sidewalks? I’m also pretty sure everyone who is against smoking does a lot of things worse for their health than one accidental inhale. For one, how about everyone complaining moving out of Boston? I bet what we’ve been inhaling constantly for however many years is causing more cancer than second hand smoke. For the record everyone claiming they are getting second hand smoke from that should do a little research. It is mostly meant for indoor areas, aka if a family member smokes, but a little smoke on the sidewalk will not kill you I promise. Way worse things are in the air than that. People need to adjust to others whether you like it or not. If smokers can’t smoke inside, then how about having non-smokers wear a mask that’ll fix it wouldn’t it? Stop complaining and share the air.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 10:59 am

    It would be interesting where to draw the line between “on campus” and “off campus” in a place like BU.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 11:13 am

    A smoking ban should be enacted

    It is one issue to say whether people should smoke or not. I agree that it is up to the individual if he or she wants to but there is a problem with smoking that affects those around the smoker. There have been too many times where I have walked out of my dorm into a gray, noxious cloud of cigarette smoke causing me to often cough. There have also been too many times where I am walking down the length of Commonwealth Ave. behind a smoker and have to constantly breathe his second hand smoke while I walk. This is rather unpleasant for me. So while I don’t think smoking should be banned entirely, I think there should be, as someone suggested, an enclosed room for smoking only because outdoors the air is shared by everyone. Instead of looking for a new system, BU can model the anti-smoking policies of a currently working and efficient system.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 11:22 am


    I disagree. I think this was a very one-sided YouSpeak video. I am a non-smoker, but nor am I an anti-smoker like most of the commenters and most people in the video seem to be. BU students like to complain whenever they feel their rights are being trampled, but don’t seem to have a problem with a proposed smoking ban. Unsafe sex and drinking each, individually, pose greater health risks to students (http://www.cdc.gov/family/college/) than second-hand or even primary smoking, yet no university would dream of banning (the legal practices of) sex or drinking across the board.

    I never understood why smoking is treated differently by the public. It smells? So does Axe body spray, but I can never seem to escape that smell in Warren Towers. I don’t know, maybe I’m missing something but I personally think university administration is already too involved in students’ life decisions.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 11:39 am

    Outdoors, no. College-aged students should take responsibility for themselves, including for their health. Regardless of how confidently non-smokers feel their choice is the right one, others should still be able to choose what they put in their bodies so long as that choice doesn’t substantially impact others negatively. So long as smokers partake courteously by avoiding blowing smoke in others’ faces, outdoor smoking has virtually no impact on non-smokers.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 11:48 am

    Designated Anti-Smoker's Area

    Why not have a special place on campus for all the Nazi Anti-Smokers to hang out. This would provide them with a special place where they could stand around and complain to others who give a crap about their petty woes.

    Loath ye trifling anti-smokers; whining about odors in the air and miniscule possible damage to your foul lungs filled from birth with pointless commentary and the foul breath of shallow thoughts.

    Curse ye anti-smokers; have you know respect for the child who was born with no lungs at all! Go forth and rejoice when you smell smoke-it means you are living, not dying.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 11:52 am

    Designated Anti-Smoker's Area

    Why not have a special place on campus for all the Nazi Anti-Smokers to hang out. This would provide them with a special place where they could stand around and complain to others who give a crap about their petty woes.

    Loath ye trifling anti-smokers; whining about odors in the air and miniscule possible damage to your foul lungs filled from birth with pointless commentary and the foul breath of shallow thoughts.

    Curse ye anti-smokers; have you no respect for the child who was born with no lungs at all! Go forth and rejoice when you smell smoke-it means you are living, not dying.

  • Fed- Up on 02.07.2011 at 11:56 am

    I think smoking should be banned on campus. I am asthmatic and it is absolutely a pain in the derriere to leave that Mugar library and be hit with a cloud of cigarette smoke as soon as I step one foot outside the door. This is outrageous. If these people want to smoke make them go somewhere else like say NOT BU

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 12:35 pm

    I don’t think BU has the right to do something like that. I’m not a smoker myself, but I think it is out of line to ban smoking on the entire campus. The students at this school are adults and have every right to smoke if they choose to do so. It is absurd to ban smoking on a campus like BU, it is simply too large. The smoke gets in our eyes, yes, but it does that everywhere else we walk. The reason smoking was banned indoors is so people would at least have outdoors to do it. It’s an awful habit but people have the right to smoke in the places they have been given.

  • Ben on 02.07.2011 at 12:43 pm


    Although I understand the smokers’ sentiment of smoking being their own choice to SMOKE, what about the choice of the non-smokers to BREATHE? I wish there was some way around it, such as particular smoking sections for the smokers, where their smoke is encapsulated in that area, but it is not (nor do most smokers even stay in the smoking sections that already exist).

    This is a way outplayed analogy, but it holds very true–does a peeing section in a pool make sense? Smoking sections as we have them now are not feasible.

    And smoking bans in certain areas, though understandably cannot be 100% enforceable, it does make it easier to stop it in action and to be closer to a place where people can breathe. I once had a major smoking-induced asmtha attack because of the smokers on the board walk at OCNJ–thankfully they banned smoking on the boardwalk. And like the boardwalk, people will still continue to break the rules, but at least the number will be reduced and make it easier to live in an environment where you don’t have to overtly avoid the bad habits of others.

    When I come out of Warren and can’t even sit on the benches in front of the place I live to just stare out into the city, or sit in front of the waterfall at COM in the Spring time to read a book because of the smoke burning my eyes, making it stink, and making it hard to breathe.

    No–this is not an overreaction to some of those who don’t have these symptoms. Sure, smokers and others who spend their time with them are accustomed to these symptoms and do not recognize them, but to the people who try to live a healthy life, these symptoms are just ridiculous to have to deal with.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 12:46 pm


    Although I understand the smokers’ sentiment of smoking being their own choice to SMOKE, what about the choice of the non-smokers to BREATHE? I wish there was some way around it, such as particular smoking sections for the smokers, where their smoke is encapsulated in that area, but it is not (nor do most smokers even stay in the smoking sections that already exist).

    This is a way outplayed analogy, but it holds very true–does a peeing section in a pool make sense? Smoking sections as we have them now are not feasible.

    And smoking bans in certain areas, though understandably cannot be 100% enforceable, it does make it easier to stop it in action and to be closer to a place where people can breathe. I once had a major smoking-induced asmtha attack because of the smokers on the board walk at OCNJ–thankfully they banned smoking on the boardwalk. And like the boardwalk, people will still continue to break the rules, but at least the number will be reduced and make it easier to live in an environment where you don’t have to overtly avoid the bad habits of others.

    When I come out of Warren and can’t even sit on the benches in front of the place I live to just stare out into the city, or sit in front of the waterfall at COM in the Spring time to read a book because of the smoke burning my eyes, making it stink, and making it hard to breathe.

    No–this is not an overreaction to some of those who don’t have these symptoms. Sure, smokers and others who spend their time with them are accustomed to these symptoms and do not recognize them, but to the people who try to live a healthy life, these symptoms are just ridiculous to have to deal with.

  • Arthur on 02.07.2011 at 1:06 pm

    Why don't non-smokers...

    Why don’t non-smokers start smoking? It’s so simple. All the complaints towards smokers orbits around physical inconveniences and irritations: eyes stinging, coughing, ect. Go to the store, buy a pack of cigarettes and smoke them. With all the smoke in and around your body you will build up a tolerance to minor irritations. Before you know it you won’t EVEN notice second hand smoke. Plus, smoking is a great way to socialize. Personally I would be alone in this world if it weren’t for smoking because everyone I love I have met during a smoking break. To ban smoking on campus would be a crime to our humanity.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 1:34 pm


    they should just ban farting in the library

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 1:57 pm

    Students are not the only people on campus, although they are why we all have jobs. My question is are they going to allow BU employees extra time on all our breaks to take the two mile hike down the road to smoke?

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 2:07 pm

    Yes. Please ban smoking on campus. If you smoke, please go somewhere else to smoke; not around us nonsmokers. It’s hazardous to the safety and health of innocent bystanders. I’m not supporting a ban on cigarettes or tobacco products, just don’t use it around those that don’t enjoy those products. I could care less if you get cancer or black lungs; just don’t pollute my air or intrude my space!

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 2:12 pm

    Leave Us Alone!!

    As a smoker, I go through a lot of effort to not use Comm Ave to get to class to avoid irritating others. I already go through a lot of effort to be courteous to people irritated by smoking. I realize this is not the Civil Rights March, but I will have to take to civil disobedience if this is passed.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 2:21 pm

    Yes! Could BU make money by giving smoking tickets? Or just an employee with a squirt bottle to spray smokers near buildings. Heck, I’d even volunteer for that job. Works for cats, right?

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 2:21 pm


    i’m going to go have a cig in honor of this article.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 2:25 pm


    BU !!! Please ban smoking on the entire campus ! I dislike it greatly when I’m walking outside on my way to class, and some person walking near me is smoking a cigarette :( Its smells horrible and I always avoid those smokers at all costs. Also, I hope cigarettes get taxed at least 5 times more, that way they will at least have an incentive to quit smoking.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 2:34 pm


    I can’t imagine how the university would begin to enforce a smoking ban if it can’t even enforce the current rules. So many students smoke in no-smoking areas and get away with it, which I think is ridiculous. First we need to focus on enforcing the rules we already have, and if people still have an issue with smoking, then maybe a ban should be looked into.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 2:36 pm


    So I understand how some universities do the ban when they have a defined campus. But how will BU that is in the middle of the city control this? You can not control smoking on public sidewalks, and honestly that is only a few steps away from the campus. I agree with keeping smokers away from doorways to prevent smoke from entering the building and allowing easy access to people who do not want to be exposed to the second hand smoke, but perhaps rather than a CAMPUS BAN, create designated smoking areas to allow a place for smokers to gather that has adequate space between entries to the buildings and places for disposal of cigarette butts?

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 2:51 pm

    Public health consequences outweigh individual smoking rights

    I’m sure no one needs a reminder of the major public health consequences of smoking to the smoker. Second hand smoke has also been proven to be causally related to both heart disease and lung cancer..When cities/countries have banned public smoking, the public has benefited with a decrease in these diseases ( see http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/07/30/us-smoking-heart-idUSN3031836920080730)

    BU should do its part to help quell the epidemic..This is much bigger than the rights of the individual smoker.
    …for those whom a smoking ban would be a burden, perhaps it will be enough of a burden to help increase the chances of his/her smoking cessation and slowly but surely lesson the public health burden for everyone

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 3:16 pm

    The issue of the law seems to be point of confusion. There is no “right” to smoke. No court in the country has every agreed with that argument. Second, smoking is not a “right to privacy” issue. Again, the body of legal decisions in the US is unequivocal. Smoking is a recreational drug habit, and as such, BU has the right to regulate recreational drug use on campus.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 3:28 pm

    If you want fresh air, move to the country.

    …You all realize you go to school in a city, right? Isn’t it obvious that in a densely populated area like Boston, where there are plenty of smokers AND non-smokers living together in close quarters, you are at some point eventually going to run into a cloud of smoke? If you want fresh air, move to the country. You’re more likely going to get cancer and die from the pollutants and chemicals in the city air from factories, plants, etc. When you live in a city you take certain risks, such as being exposed to these higher numbers of carcinogens and toxins, and non-smokers have to prepare themselves for that and acknowledge beforehand that second-hand smoke is something they will at some point be exposed to in a collegiate city environment. You chose to come to this school in the city. That’s all on you, non-smokers. I agree that there should be designated areas for smoking on the campus and that these rules be enforced, but a general smoking ban will never happen. Sorry, people. Honestly, you should all just be smoking weed instead anyway. No, scratch that, you should buy a vaporizer, puff on that for a bit, get baked and relax, and then you can’t even complain about smoke harming your precious lungs (vapor ≠ smoke). We’re all gong to die eventually; live a little while you can.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 3:49 pm

    This makes me laugh. It looks like this article is turning into 2 arguments:
    1) Non-smokers who don’t want to inhale smokers’ smoke – maybe they’re over-voicing their opinions, but their opinions are out their regardless.
    2) Smokers who seem to be a bit too concerned with the fact that non-smokers don’t want to breathe their smoke.
    Yes, the smell of cigarette smoke to some is disgusting, and I can’t say I like to smell a lingering cigarette on someone’s clothes either…
    No, a one inhalation of second-hand smoke won’t kill you, but no smoker knows whether or not the person next to him/her has health issues that could be negatively affected by that puff.
    Yes, we do use those entrances, so it’d be nice to not have to walk through a cloud of smoke to get in or out, but we all have the very simple option of momentarily holding our breath.
    This whole discussion doesn’t have to turn nasty, and I genuinely hope that there aren’t people out there who after reading this are going to intentionally be obnoxious to those around them by exaggerating their smoking, or by smoking in inconvenient places.
    Ideally, everyone should be able to treat his/her body the way he/she wants to, without others’ actions interfering. I don’t think a ban would be maintainable, but I do think the best solution to this problem is that we all learn to be courteous and respectful of the people around us – smokers and non-smokers alike.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 3:52 pm

    OOooOOOOOOOoOoOOOoOOooOOOOooooh snap.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 4:05 pm

    Common, my eyes and lungs are iratated by pollen… so cut down the tress and pave over BU beach and the COM lawn.

    PS what’s smoking?

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 4:29 pm

    I am a smoker

    I smoke, and I have smoked on the walk to my classes many times. No one has EVER said anything to me. I didn’t realize it bothered so many people. To all those whom second hand smoke is bothering, you should SAY something while it is bothering you. Chances are, despite what many of you ‘non-smokers’ may believe, almost everyone who smokes is probably exactly like you, and when confronted with the issue that their cigarette smoke is bothering someone, would gladly move to another space to finish their cigarette. Try communicating with us before bashing us online. We are normal people trying to make it to the next day, just like you.
    I understand the reasoning behind wanting to ban smoking, but my problem is this seems really sudden. I have never encountered someone on campus who was upset by my smoking. I didn’t realize people had been bottling up their frustrations where ever I went. It makes me feel bad that my smoking is upsetting people, but before trying to ban smoking, try talking and compromising with us ‘smokers,’ instead of disrespecting human autonomy and forcing a way of being upon us.
    Before you do anything, take a deep breath (not near someone smoking a cigarette), and talk with us first. I don’t know the right answer to this, but maybe we can all figure it out together.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 4:53 pm

    Healthy Living For Everyone

    How about all the smokers magically become unaddicted and we can all live together with one less bad health factor in our lives?

  • Maya on 02.07.2011 at 5:46 pm

    I didn’t sign up for the perils of second hand smoking when I decided I did not want to smoke. I hate it when i’m walking down the sidewalk and people are puffing away – while they think they’re not bothering anybody, it’s getting in my lungs and it’s gross. I also hate it that people loiter around building entrances to smoke when everybody – including people that don’t smoke – have to go through those doors to get to their rooms. I don’t care if you want to give yourself lung cancer, please, be my guest; but when it comes to my lungs and my health, back off.

    There are many places around the world that have laws banning smokers from entrances to buildings. This seems like the most appropriate response. Also, by banning smoking from the campus, BU promotes a healthier student body.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 5:47 pm


    This would solve nothing. Let’s go through it: the reason some people (a subset of the non-smokers) would like smoking to be banned on campus is because it annoys them or they feel it somehow harms them. Okay, fair enough- although hardly. Now, most of that is likely because smokers are breaking the rules and smoking in non-smoking areas. Well, if smokers are already breaking that rule, why does anybody expect anything to change by banning smoking on the entire campus? If smokers won’t obey one rule, what makes anyone think they will obey another? To those who say that banning it on the entire campus would make it easier for university officials to spot, stop and/or prevent, thereby truly eliminating the problem, whereas the current rule offers and inch and is thus taken advantage of by a mile, well, that would be the officials fault, wouldn’t it? If they can’t do their job and identify whether someone is smoking in or out of a designated area, that should not be taken out on the smokers. The officials should be trained more properly. Now, if the case is that people have complaints even with smoking outside of non-smoking zones, well then, you know what? Too bad. Rules cannot protect everyone’s toes from being stepped on. Bikers pose a threat to pedestrian’s safety, but no one wants to ban biking. In that case, the toe anecdote can be taken more literally. No one is forcing anyone to stand near a smoker for any period of time. Any damage caused to someone’s lungs as they walk by a puff of smoke and the next second are breathing freely is minimal, if not undetectable. Rules and laws nowadays are protecting people more and more to the point of ludicrousness, as if they are defenseless and cannot take any action to keep themselves safe. Rules do not need to be made for every infinitesimal complaint someone has- let them use their brains and solve it on their own for once. In this case, “solving the problem” means walking around a person or quickly past them. I trust that’s not too difficult.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 5:56 pm

    I would like to point out to those who claim that even smoking in designated areas harms others because the smoke does not recognize the boundary and crosses it, smoke rises. It does not linger at mouth level forever. Even if there was no wind, it would rise above breathing level within seconds. With the wind that we know BU has, it is diluted even and much more quickly. I am not against the idea of banning smoking on a campus in general- although I do think it would be ridiculous in 99% of campuses- but in a windy city like Boston where there are other pollutants anyway AND, most of all, non-students are crossing all the time due to the lack of a campus separated from public space, it’s totally irrational.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 6:31 pm

    Yes, lease ban smoking on campus. If one’s action harms or irritates others, it should be banned. Or make a designated smoking area for smokers, so that non-smokers who walk around streets don’t have to inhale unnecessary smokes therefore may reduce the risk of getting lung cancer, etc. As a non-smoker, when I walk around campus, I always get irritated by the smoke and the smell of cigarette, I try to avoid those who smoke. To be fair to smokers, I think making a designated smoking area and banning smoking on campus (such as streets, within xx ft of building) are good balance. The most part I hate about smokers is when they smoke cigarettes while walking around the streets (I got a little cigarette burn on my pulse once, and it’s just dangerous when they walk around while holding lighted cigarettes on side.) If you’re SMOKERS and would like to smoke while walking a street, please BE CONSIDERATE of others. Some people are allergic to the smell, cigarette, they can get hurt, or their belonging can be damaged! Thank you.

  • Beatrice on 02.07.2011 at 6:36 pm

    It’s clear that if smoking is banned, there will be a lot of angry people who will do it regardless. I at least wish that smokers would be required to smoke in designated areas (and if they disregarded this rule, they should be fined or something). I hate walking behind someone who is smoking or exiting a building to the stench of cigarette smoke. I don’t care if other people smoke, but I do not. And I don’t want any exposure to it. I shouldn’t have to be exposed to it just because someone else doesn’t care.

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 6:40 pm

    If not banned, at least enforce 50 feet law

    It’s clear that if smoking is banned, there will be a lot of angry people who will do it regardless. I at least wish that smokers would be required to smoke in designated areas (and if they disregarded this rule, they should be fined or something). I hate walking behind someone who is smoking or exiting a building to the stench of cigarette smoke. I don’t care if other people smoke, but I do not. And I don’t want any exposure to it. I shouldn’t have to be exposed to it just because someone else doesn’t care.

  • Andrew on 02.07.2011 at 7:31 pm

    The thing that I find most irritating about smoking is all of the cigarette butts that get tossed around everywhere, especially in the snow when they stick there aren’t picked up. I hate the area right outside of Myles that has hundreds of cigarette butts just sitting there from people loitering and smoking cigarettes. I really don’t have much of a problem with people smoking unless they are doing it right in front of a building I need to go into or they don’t dispose of their butts properly. By all means exercise your freedom to smoke, but remember, your freedom ends where mine begins!

  • Anonymous on 02.07.2011 at 8:41 pm

    Scientifically there is no “safe” level of exposure to smoke. Even very, very brief exposure begins to cause damage to the heart and lungs, among other things. For people with breathing difficulties, the effects can be life-threatening. For the folks who believe that anybody can decide what levels of secondhand smoke are acceptable, the science completely refutes all such claims. It’s not a sliding scale based on subjective, personal opinion. Secondhand smoke is perhaps the most studied of all exposures, and there’s a mountain of exceptionally strong scientific evidence that indicates that no level of exposure is safe–indoors, outdoors, etc. Exposure is exposure. At the level of the science, there is no open question. The only question that remains is when the university will bring campus policies into line with the all the science and all the public health data. The choice to ignore the overwhelming scientific evidence regarding use of this particular drug which, unlike alcohol, harms others directly without their consent, is ultimately an unjustifiable one. Smoking has no benefits, not even for the smoker. Therefore, in terms of smokers and smoking, there are no legal rights to protect & there are no inherent benefits of smoking to preserve. Assumptions and arguments to the contrary are both legal falsities and factually/scientifically wrong.

  • Anonymous on 02.08.2011 at 5:27 am


    I am a smoker and would like the idea of not being allowed to smoke on campus. It would give me a reason to quit since I can’t smoke at work and all my other time is spent at school. Maybe we should have signs about the health risk in the most popular smoking areas?

  • Nick on 02.08.2011 at 6:35 am

    "It's always one thing or another" here at Boston University

    I find this YouSpeak incredibly biased. I’m not even a journalism major and I can tell how the video is so massively one-sided. Definitely the work of a lazy broadcast journalism department. The stereotypical Sargent student concerned over second-hand smoke and the others come off as naive- This is a city school, right?

    However, it’s hard to hard to fault them over their personal beliefs. I commend these students for speaking openly about this polarizing issue among BU non-smokers and smokers. Truthfully though, many students at BU choose to smoke everyday and many more students in the future will smoke as well. While I do acknowledge both the health risks and even quit smoking last year due to them, it is wrong to completely impose and use valuable resources to enact these ridiculous standards on BU smokers.

    The smoker culture here is not made up of people trying to “fit in.” I was a smoker and never judged the vast amount of students who blackout drink on weekends, take adderall through midterms and exams, and engage in unprotected sex daily. Aren’t these more pressing matters to address rather than smoke in your eyes? Over the past few years I’ve met some of the most fascinating people here on campus who happened to smoke. It is beyond hypocritical to condone the on-campus drinking and hookup culture, but not the smoking one. How about the ambulances that line the streets every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday around campus for alcohol poisoning instances? The United States decided long ago that both alcohol and tobacco were to be a taxed, economical commodities. There are many liquor stores nearby campus and every 7-Eleven/CVS on campus sells cigarettes. This is what we call a “free” country.

    Commonwealth Avenue is a long road that is made up of BU campus- and other businesses too. Is BU that egocentric to force a rule on these businesses as well? Don’t forget the masses of smokers employed by these businesses- Not to mention the various Aramark employees who serve the BU community day-in and day-out. Taking away their “smoking break” after dealing with certain entitled students daily will contribute such a morale boost, let me tell you. All these people exist in this microcosm known as Commonwealth Ave. Till BU owns all the real estate holdings in the area, they don’t own the right to dictate to the whole area yet.

    Furthermore, enforcing the ban would be ridiculously hard to do. Would the ban be imposed on the businesses on-campus too? The one girl in the video said it right when she stated, “It’s always one thing or another.” By having smoking areas spread throughout East, Central, South and West campus, BU could take an approach that would not leave the majority of smokers on campus vexed and appease the non-smokers as well.

    Think about it. Everyone on campus takes issue with something. This is a free-thinking campus in one of the most open-minded cities in the United States. That’s why I chose to come here and pay the exorbitant tuition costs. Imagine what life at BU must be like for students who seek vegan or gluten-free options for campus dining? Does BU address their concerns? How about banning all fast-food and take BU’s “health-consciousness” to a new level. Obesity is another direct cause of diseases throughout the country. If BU were to enact that policy how many students would resent them for that one?

    The point is that BU is made up of a diverse group of people that make this campus truly great. We all must accept and respect each other for who we are no matter what stance we have on tobacco, alcohol, fast-food and other detriments to a healthful lifestyle we all wish for, but cannot sometimes attain.

  • Dan Purnell on 02.08.2011 at 9:52 am


    This is the kind blatant bigotry and overreaction that results when health becomes a value. And I say this as a non-smoker.
    First, there is no scientific evidence of any negative health effects of second hand smoke exposure. None. And you should not legislate human behavior because we find it annoying and smelly. How about a 50 feet rule for people who have offensive body odor or bad breath?
    Second, the following is a list of things that acutely damage the human body in small amounts every day: lack of sleep, reading in the dark, overeating, under eating, poor diet, too much exercise, too little exercise, excessive drinking, walking outside late at night, and finally….living! Being alive is actually the leading cause of death. Every day we all get a little closer to the end, our bodies naturally break down a little bit. Arguing that a risky or undesirable behavior should be banned because it smells bad and because it kills you a little every day is utterly ridiculous.
    To ban smoking, here’s what you need: a body of honest scientific evidence suggesting that ETS is linked to any negative health outcomes. Without this, any attempt to ban smoking on campus would be an exercise in values-based health. How long before other things bad for our health that we enjoy are banned? How long before we are forced to eat health foods every day by law in order to ease the burden on our university health system? Those laws don’t really seem any different.
    And from a more practical standpoint, how would this be enforced? Should we increase police presence to catch those “evil” smokers? Where would that money come from? Where would this policy have effect? Smoking is already banned in most buildings on campus and off, for the reason that smoke concentrated in an enclosed areas does have some undesirable effects: smelly clothes, potential allergic reactions, etc. But outside, on Comm Ave, with all the wind and rain and snow? What does it matter? How much more dangerous is air we breathe everyday before smokers breath the smoke out into the air? These questions need to be answered before any talk of banning smoking in outdoor areas can be addressed.

  • Anonymous on 02.08.2011 at 11:29 am

    One the problems in a few responses is that a few people are trying to argue there’s no science behind secondhand smoke exposure, e.g.:”First, there is no scientific evidence of any negative health effects of second hand smoke exposure. None. ” This is simply nonsense. There’s a TON of robust scientific evidence. Start here with the Surgeon General’s reports for the last 40+ years: http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/sgr/index.htm
    Lying about the status of an enormous body of robust and rigorous scientific evidence in order to shift the discussion to non-issues such as clothing that smells terrible because of smoke, won’t change the science, or the facts of ETS exposure. Second, comparing secondhand smoke exposure to other health-based values deflects the real issue. “lack of sleep, reading in the dark, overeating, under eating, poor diet, too much exercise, too little exercise, excessive drinking, walking outside late at night, and finally….living!” None of these things negatively impacts the health of other people without their consent; ETS does. It’s apples and oranges. If someone chooses to eat terrible food, that has zero direct effect on the person next to him or her (there are, of course, indirect effects in terms of health care costs, etc. that affect everyone.) ETS has a direct effect, period. It’s been measured. Read the science. To pretend these are apposite examples is nonsense. Saying that we’re all going to die anyway, so people should essentially tolerate ETS is also a decision that isn’t one individual’s right to make–it’s a species of argument that entitles any individual (who does or doesn’t know the science) to decide based on his or her own personal beliefs how much ETS exposure everyone else “should” have to tolerate. What’s the point of doing robust science in any field (genetics, chemistry, nanotechnology) if there’s no such things as facts? ETS is a fact, and its effects have been widely studied. These are facts, not opinions. There’s a difference. People are entitled to their own opinions, but they’re not entitled to their own facts. Read the robust science on ETS. There’s no debate in the scientific community about ETS; pretending the issue is still somehow in question at a scientific level is simply untrue factually. Ignorance about the enormous body of scientific and public heath data regarding ETS doesn’t mean that that science hasn’t been done, or that data doesn’t exist. Pretending that’s the case is a way of trying to ensure that the real issues get obscured. Read the science. Read the public health data.

  • Anonymous on 02.08.2011 at 1:58 pm

    Ban It!

    Why should nonsmokers be subjected to the second-hand smoke? Why should we be forced to pay for healthcare for folks who CHOOSE to poison their bodies and the environment? We shouldn’t! BAN IT!

  • Anonymous on 02.08.2011 at 11:08 pm

    We do communicate!

    I have sent two messages to the dean of library because of the smokers right outside the library. why do you think the signs are there? we are trying to communicate but it is frankly hard to talk to every and each one of you smokers. you hang out right outside the door of the library and i have to hold my breath until i come in or out. the place stinks and its making my college experience filled with breathless moments.

  • Anonymous on 02.08.2011 at 11:46 pm

    Please Do

    I’m a well travelled individual, and I have never in my entire life felt like I was going to “die” from second-hand smoke. New York is one of the dirtiest places, and doesn’t even come CLOSE to Boston’s smoking habit. In addition, if the smoking isn’t banned. At least enforce the rules. It’s also very tiring to walk out of Mugar Library into a smoke cloud. Furthermore, they should be fined for littering. Cigarettes (or anything else that’s rolled) are not biodegradable.


  • H on 02.09.2011 at 1:26 am

    Law says its banned in universities!

    “Smoking is prohibited in any school, college, and university.

    MASS. GEN. LAWS ch. 270, § 22 (2004). ”

  • Anonymous on 02.09.2011 at 11:14 am

    BAN IT

    PLEASE BAN SMOKING or atleast ban smoking where you say you will! EVERY single time I walk into mugar and I see a smoker I say “that is weird I am pretty sure the sign says there is not smoking on the landing or stairs!” I am so frustrated because I hate walking through a smoke cloud and if you put up a sign then ENFORCE IT!

  • Mick on 02.09.2011 at 11:51 am

    Provide convenient shelters for people to smoke in, and they’ll be less likely to stand in the doorways, and also provide plenty of easy to use un-full ashtrays for the butts.

    The amounts of toxins one will inhale walking past a smoker is less that what one will receive from the cars and trucks that pass through campus. The people who really have to worry about long-term affects from cigarette smoke are those who receive long-term exposure such as a barman or a waitress in a smoke filled establishment (and people who smoke).

    I agree the smell can be obnoxious for non-smokers, but if smoking is banned outright then it becomes a war against the smokers and a demonisation process. Provide the smokers places where they can smoke and where it’s less likely to bother others. Showing a little respect may work better in getting smokers to do what you want them to do instead of having a war with them. For example, yes you need to smoke, but it annoys a lot of people and the smell is strong and can you please do over there in that cosy shelter where it won’t disturb so many people.

    The library is a prefect example; smokers are told not to stand near the door and due to the constant wind it’s one of the coldest spots on campus and naturally the smokers stand out of the wind in the doorway and everyone’ annoyed. A bus shelter with ash trays and signs saying “Smoke Here OR ELSE” might just do the trick to lure them away from the door and out into the courtyard.

    On another note, why can’t this site parse white-space instead of making one’s comment a huge block of text that’s impossible to read?

  • Krystina on 02.10.2011 at 11:52 pm

    ...going too far. again.

    ok, so, trying to ban smoking on campus is a really stupid idea. both students and professors regularly smoke on campus. also, our campus is pretty open to the public… how are you going to effectively enforce this rule? and what about the members of the general public that walks through our campus every day? what, are we going to have a bunch of BUPD officers on bikes chasing smokers down and ticketing them? this kind of crap makes me even more excited to graduate in may.

    and is it just me, or does it seem like every bureaucratic body anywhere is just looking for things to restrict people from? maybe i’m a hippie, but i’m really tired of random middle-aged guys i don’t know making senseless rules i suddenly have to live my life by.

    back to smoking, though. obviously non-smokers are going to be annoyed by second-hand smoke. and they have every right to be. to the non-smoker, it’s nasty, it feels unhealthy, it smells gross, etc etc, the complaints go on. and it IS unhealthy. (by the way, smokers know this, WE JUST DON’T CARE, and everyone should REALLY stop telling each other what to do with their own bodies). it’s one thing to cite the health issues as issues you don’t smoke, but using that kind of reasoning to ban something as common as smoking is altogether nonsensical. and some smokers get annoyed with those non-smokers who are overtly judgmental or melodramatic about being near the smoke (i know it’s not all of you, but you’re out there and you know who you are, fake-coughing at the top of your lungs and staring at my cigarette…from halfway down the block -_-). obviously, we need to have designated smoking areas (BU really hasn’t thought of this yet? like, before considering flat-out banning yet another activity? wow..). they need to be easily accessible, not in the outskirts of campus. and the banned smoking areas (of which there are already many BY THE WAY) need to be clearly marked and not in super high-traffic areas where people who are walking around with cigarettes are going to need to pass through.

    in any case, i really thing the suits are over doing it with the restrictions, rules, regulating of activities, “this needs to be regulated” and “that needs to be restricted” and “this rule needs to be changed to something stupider.” this is kindergarten nonsense. i’m a grown woman and i will do as i please with my body. by the way, i’ve had many professors enjoy a smoke with me, so it’s not just some young adult trend that needs to be controlled by older “smarter” (?????) adults, as some comments have suggested. IT’S JUST SOMETHING PEOPLE HAVE BEEN DOING FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS.

    please get off your high horses of judgment and just live and let live. give us our areas to smoke and we won’t have any reason to bother you with it.

    or just leave things the way they are…normal.

    either way i don’t care unless they impose some crazy new rule before this may. :P

    wait, so why did i just write all that, then? ….


  • Anonymous on 02.13.2011 at 12:34 pm

    Do your research

    I think that banning smoking would be a waste of time, since a lot of kids do it and have no intention of stopping, but I DO think that there should be smoking shelters put up so smokers stop smoking right outside of buildings, because it’s one of the worst things to walk to mugar and have to pass through the smoke cloud in order to enter. But to the other post who wrote that BU should focus on serving their vegan and gluten-free population before trying to fix the smoking problem, DO YOUR RESEARCH. BU dining halls have signs informing students if a meal is vegan, and EVERY dining hall has a gluten-free program. They do their best to ensure that gluten free students can eat safely on campus, and that they can order food for themselves. Even the GSU has gluten-free options. As one of those gluten-free students, I was strongly encouraged to go to one of the on-campus nutritionists when I found out about my allergy, and then was walked around my preferred dining hall by the manager and invited to ask questions whenever I wanted to. Sure they mess up sometimes, but overall I’ve felt really welcomed at the dining hall and really accommodated. So that entire argument about BU neglecting a part of their population is totally irrelevant. BU does their best. Focus instead on how to help BU make a plan that keeps non-smokers and smokers happy.

  • Anon on 08.31.2011 at 12:41 pm

    I dont think smoking should be banned, but there should be designated spots for smokers and smoking and walking should be banned because thats the only thing that really gets to nonsmokers. I don’t mind people who chose to smoke but please don’t push your life style on me by walking and smoking and blowing smoke in my face.

  • BU brand cigarettes on 01.23.2012 at 6:51 am

    BU needs to have their own brand cigarettes. Step up the game or you will never win the dollar game. It will be a much more interesting place here- Look at Harvard and MIT- people rarely smoke there because they have a passion for education and don’t waste time on distracting their minds from what they want to achieve- how boring! I don’t really care- I’m going into pulmonary medicine, so light up people.

    -BU student

  • mamakin on 01.25.2012 at 9:32 am

    give them a few spots, even a warm room, here and there to smoke, but refuse to clean it, paint the walls, or deodorize it, then smokers will see how filthy it is and they will have their own stinkin smoke spot. Always wonder why so many of the environuts haven’t bloviated on this issue, bet OB-care didn’t address this cost to our country in medical expenses, long term chronic health care, and destroying clean fresh air.

  • Marvelous on 05.12.2014 at 4:45 am

    How I wish there is restrictions on smoking at my school too. It makes me depressed just to see those kids at my age smoking cigarettes, and worst they even do MJ.

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