Our View: Your cigarettes are safe with us

DKS Editors

After a couple of months of curiosity regarding whether Kent State would really follow the July advice from the Ohio Board of Regents to ban smoking on campus, the university has said it won’t do so unless it finds clear student support for such a policy.

This makes sense to us. A lot of Kent State students are smokers, which means any attempt to enforce such a ban would be a headache waiting to happen.

Looking at the other side of the argument, though, we can imagine what the intended benefits of a smoking ban would be. It would be nice to no longer breathe in secondhand smoke when the person in front of us lights up while walking on a crowded Esplanade. Plus, the piles of cigarette butts carelessly dropped to the ground on various parts of campus are disgraceful.

But addicted smokers are going to smoke somewhere, and it isn’t rational to expect all of them to put in the effort of evacuating campus before having a cigarette. A student at Taylor Hall in the middle of winter is not going to make that 10-minute walk to Lincoln or Main street.

So in that respect, a smoking ban would be useless, and any attempt to enforce it would put too much of a burden on police to be an effective and smart use of their budget.

Smokers might disagree on whether the ability to smoke on campus is a privilege or a right, but hopefully they can respect the reasons why some people would want a ban. Do your best not to smoke in crowded areas, and please find an ashtray instead of littering.

In fact, maybe the university can help by adding a few more ashtrays around buildings and sidewalks. It makes far more financial sense than trying to punish every student smoker.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.