Last week, The Progress printed a Letter to the Editor concerning smoking and its dangers to the student body. I am here to address some of these issues using something my predecessor conveniently ignored: factual evidence. While no one is denying the negative health effects of passive smoking (the unintentional inhalation of previously inhaled and exhaled cigarette smoke), pollutants released by cars are much more likely to cause an allergic reaction or aggravate asthma. Unless Ms. Abney is suggesting that Eastern ban automobiles on campus, I feel that her logic is severely flawed.
In regards to the rights of smokers to smoke and the rights of non-smokers to breathe (even if only in their minds) “clean” air, then the solution is as simple as walking around the smokers. For the non-smoking members of the Eastern community, you will be able to identify the smokers as the ones holding the cylinders with smoke emanating from them.
I have walked past many people during my time here at Eastern who simply needed a shower. Which is more important? My right to not have to be subjected to their stench, or their right to refuse daily bathing? What is the possible solution to this problem? Is it university-mandated bathing? No.
The fact is, that if I don’t like the fact that someone smells like hot garbage and salt, it would be in my best interest to walk away from that person, as opposed to demanding bureaucratic intervention.
You don’t have to like other people’s choices, but you do have to deal with it.