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Smoking Ban: Quick Fix to Complex Problem

Haley Erickson, Student

On March 2, 2011

As state wide smoking bans become increasingly popular it seems as though people are becoming fed up with this growing addiction. However, it has been brought to my attention that UW-La Crosse is attempting to pass a campus wide smoking ban. As an involved student I appreciate that the university is taking the time to hear our feedback through surveys and forums. But as a smoker I am not happy with this potential ban.

I believe that the university is only trying to better itself and the health of its students through this ban. But placing a smoking ban will do very little to combat my addiction and increase the quality of this school. In fact, I see this ban as a "quick fix" to a complex problem.

If the goal of UW-L is to lessen exposure of secondhand smoke, decrease the amount of litter, or even better the health of the students there are many alternative solutions to this problem. Increasing the distance between a building and where a smoker should stand is an alternative. Adding a few more benches at those designated spots along with a few more cigarette deposits could drastically decrease the litter around campus. Even offering smoking patches in the vending machines like they do condoms would benefit students more than a ban.

In actual reality, someone telling you that you can't do something never really solves a problem. In this case especially, the smokers of UW-L need to be more conscious of where they smoke and how they dispose of their cigarette butts. In return, the university needs to be more conscious of their addiction and not assume that this ban will make everything better.  I hope that UW-L takes the time to consider these alternatives, instead of ignoring them.


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