Lack of common courtesy: A health hazard for the rest of us

Students who smoke in large crowds aren’t violating campus policy, but they are being discourteous to those around them. Andrea Lindgren/UVU Review

Walking down the hallway, students don’t need to deal with someone blowing cigarette smoke in their direction.
But outside, campus policies unfortunately cannot enforce common courtesy.

Most students used to walk through the halls of the Liberal Arts building and the Physical Education building to get from class to class or to get to the student center.

Now with the construction, it is a very nice change to take a trip outside, walking in the fall air, instead of inside walking down what feels like the longest hallway ever.

As students take this detour, there is one distinct situation that they must deal with outside that they do not have to deal with inside: cigarette smoke.

Smokers often do not take into consideration the other students that are walking around them to their next class.

Some of these students have their children with them. “It really bothers me that when I bring my daughter with me to take care of school business that smokers do not take the time to walk an additional 25 feet away to smoke,” said one student named Michael.

Michael is not the only student who is dealing with this same issue. Many students have been vocal in their requests to have smokers move away from them while they are smoking in between classes.

One student with asthma was overheard yelling at a student who was smoking. This student refused to comment.

“Smoking makes me sick. It also upsets me when I see other students smoking and blow their smoke directly in the path of other students,” Chris Collins said. “Smokers seem to lack a common courtesy of others.”

UVU’s current policy on smoking, Policy 158, states that smoking must take place 25 feet away from any entrance, window or air intake unit. Smoking is also prohibited in partially enclosed areas (such as covered walkways, walkways between sections of buildings, courtyards and bus stop shelters) and exterior stairways and landings.

Policy 158 also states any student found in violation of this policy can be reported to campus police. First time offenders will be given a warning and additional offenses will then be referred for disciplinary action through the director of judicial affairs.
Disciplinary action can include, but is not limited to, fines, suspensions or expulsion from school.

Smoking outside will remain an issue as long as the construction is taking place on campus. If one student believes another student is violating UVU policy, that student can file a report with campus police.

Since our policies don’t dictate how students can protect themselves from secondhand smoke, the main question is, what can students do to protect their health? At the moment, students will have to hope that smokers will have some common courtesy to step away from the mass of people they are walking with to have a smoke.

Students aren’t asking for much, just that smokers’ lack of common courtesy will stop.

2 Responses to "Lack of common courtesy: A health hazard for the rest of us"

  1. Tyler   September 16, 2010 at 7:13 am

    Sorry, but I think most people are a little too touchy. I do NOT smoke around children, if I see a child, I hold my cigarette much higher so the smoke cannot reach them. I abide by the rules of where I am allowed to smoke, I stand or sit 25 feet away from any entrance or vent. Yet people constantly harass me about smoking. People are rude and insist that I’m giving others’ lung cancer. If you don’t like it walk around, I do the same when I walk past a group of people, so but your big panties on and quit trying to blame someone.

  2. Awesome   November 26, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    I believe that the majority of the students who attend UVU that smoke realize that smoking is 1) certainly not the most healthy thing in the world, and 2) very very VERY frowned upon by conservative people in Utah, and even may cause others to look down upon them at a characteristic level based on one single action. It is also important to note that 99% of the time, smoking takes place as the law permits: 25 feet away from an entrance in Utah. With this in mind I ask: what single person has the right or the privilege to assume that a group of people (“smokers”) lack common decency and a legitimate concern for other based on the actions of a few? On the same token, who has the right to try and force a smoke-ban (i.e., making UVU campass a 100% tobacco-free zone) upon those who are in all senses abiding by laws, regulations, and even the simple desires of the state and individuals?…


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