To the editor:
I write this letter supporting the tobacco-free campus policy at Southwest Minnesota State University.
Smoking is not only harmful to the person who chooses to smoke a cigarette, but it is equally if not more harmful to the people who are breathing in the toxicants released in secondhand smoke.
We should not have to pay for his or her decision to use tobacco.
Campus banning tobacco products is a great way to promote a healthy environment for not only its students, but faculty, staff, and community members as well. While one person chooses to smoke and use those harmful products, those who choose not to are still breathing in those harmful toxicants.
I have experienced and heard stories of students having to go out of their way to avoid breathing in another student's smoke even after asking them to step away from the building. There was a regulation in place that smokers were to be 15 feet from any surrounding building. This regulation was more often abused than followed. Allowing students to use tobacco sends the wrong message - that it is OK, but it is not.
I am proud to say I live on a tobacco-free campus. It gives students who may have been trying to quit a chance or reason to succeed aside from their own personal reasons.
It also gives the students who have chosen not to use tobacco a chance to live in a healthier environment.