California State University Senate: Do not implement a system-wide smoking ban and cease pressures towards individual campuses to implement smoking bans.
Smokers are an increasingly marginalized minority. At most CSU campuses, they are already confined to designated smoking areas. The rational for the resolution put forth by the CSU legislature in January of 2013 to ban smoking is that smoking is unhealthy. Though it may be true that smoking is unhealthy, a CSU system-wide ban on smoking is not justified. Smoking is a highly addictive habit, so banning it will not cause people to quit. Instead, smokers will either leave campus to smoke and be regularly inconvenienced, or simply disobey the ban and continue to smoke on campus even with the risk of being ticketed. In addition, a vast majority of those who smoke on CSU campuses are students, faculty, and staff who are law-abiding adults making the decision to smoke. It is not the duty of the CSU legislature to make the decison for people to quit smoking by threatening inconveniece or fines. A better way to confront the issue of smoking on CSU campuses would be to implement a system-wide policy currently held by most CSU campuses in which smoking is banned on campus except in designated smoking areas. Under this policy, smokers are not marginalized and nonsmokers need not not bothered by second-hand smoke. Smoking may be unhealthy, but people should not be marginalized for their habits.