Keep Kent’s laws off of my smoking lungs

Chris Kok

On Sept. 11, the Daily Kent Stater reported that the Portage County Tobacco Prevention Coalition is trying to ban smoking in public buildings. This is part of a large anti-smoking movement, and it is getting out of control. On the Kent State campus, there are only two rooms where people are allowed to smoke, and both of them are in the Student Center.

The biggest claim of non-smokers is about health. Honestly, I don’t need anyone to tell me that smoking is bad for my health. My lungs remind me of that on a daily basis. People have a right to protect their own health, but they have no right to force me to be healthy.

Surely if people are worried about their own health, they can easily avoid these rooms. But that isn’t enough for these fascists. These fascists are trying to run other people’s lives. What’s next? Executing smokers?

Okay, maybe they aren’t fascists, and they probably don’t want to kill people; I just really need a cigarette right now.

Either way, non-smokers should have plenty of areas to go where there is no smoking. What is the reason for them to be worried about two rooms on a large campus?

As for the city of Kent, these anti-smoking crusaders are trying to ban smoking in bars, cafes and restaurants. Seriously, what is a beer or a cup of coffee without a cigarette? Those combinations were made by god. I really don’t understand this fundamentalist anti-smoking mentality.

You would think that they would be happy just knowing that they are going to live longer than smokers such as myself. Instead of spending those many extra years, and extra dollars saved in happiness, they are going to be angry every time someone makes a choice they don’t like.

They should be happy not only that they can run a mile faster than I can, but that they can run a mile in general. It seems that they have to rub in the fact that they are better off than smokers.

I can understand that a non-smoker would want to have the choice of going to a place that isn’t full of smoke. That choice is widely available at Kent State. Non-smokers can go to the library, Bowman Hall, Satterfield Hall . I could continue the list of on-campus places without smoking, but I only have 550 words to use.

As far as the city is concerned, non-smokers should have the right to go to bars and restaurants that are not filled with smoke. But smokers should also have the right to smoke in bars and restaurants. Instead of banning smoking all together, there needs to be a compromise.

In Kent, only a few places are allowed to serve alcohol. To do this, they need to buy a license. This could work for smoking. If the city of Kent created a smoking license, and limited its numbers to the percentage of people who smoke, the problem would be solved. Bars and restaurants would have to choose to pay for the permit, or to go smoke-free. Non-smokers could relax in clean and healthy air while smokers could catch as much cancer as they want.

Chris Kok is a senior political science major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].