Tag Archives: smoking

How was the first year of STFU for you?

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-Casey Klekas

Every time I am on campus I notice a new warning sign for those who are tobaccoally-inclined. Recently, I’ve noticed the threat of $30 fines for those caught smoking on our Smoke and Tobacco Free University.

A few months ago, I wrote a blog post about how the non-smoking campaign has successfully diminished the number of times I reach for my smokes. I am strongly opposed to the smoking ban, but the fact that it has been effective for me is particularly upsetting.

Maybe other people haven’t noticed the change as much, because they aren’t negatively affected by our new policy. Non-smokers are generally relieved to have cigarette smoke moved off campus. Yet they don’t seem to be satisfied with merely pushing smokers off campus. It’s not that they don’t want them here or there. They don’t want them anywhere.

I’ve smoked a few times on campus since the new ban (fine me!), but mostly at night when there aren’t any people around to take offense.

Resting on the benches on the perimeter of campus was Michael Mazza. Michael is a student at UO and Michael is a smoker. I asked Michael for his thoughts on the STFU campaign.

Would you consider yourself a smoker?

“On and off.”

How do you feel about the smoking ban?

“It’s ridiculous… unnecessary.” He added, “a little more punitive than helpful.”

Has it affected your smoking habit?

“No.” Although Michael did admit that in between classes, he is often forced to decide between walking to the edge of campus to smoke, or else be useless for the first ten minutes of class.

Michael mentioned the smoking policy at Lane Community College, which had accommodated for its students several smoking sections. LCC has now made smoking only allowed in the parking lots.

Michael did not feel like an outcast, a pariah, but could understand how some might feel that way.

He also mentioned that smokers put up with a lot of behavior that they don’t necessarily agree with, yet we don’t ask for a school-sanctioned ban for validation.

For instance, the school sells plenty of junk food in its vending machines and cafeterias. But, students can make up their own choice about what kind of food they eat. I agree. I think the whole smoking on campus situation could have been handled with an open mind (say, designating a few, isolated smoking areas on campus) rather than with the toxic air of intolerance that is our STFU.

Image by Fried Dough.

Damn You, STFU: An Unfair Campaign That's Working For Me

-Casey Klekas

I used to scoff at the Smoke and Tobacco Free University campaign, smartly and respectfully acronymed STFU (was “Get The F!@# Out” already taken?). I never thought a little inconvenience would get me to cut back on the smokes. The sort of public declaration of intolerance, the mob-rule attack on a minority, was a little tough to swallow. But I accepted it and took to smoking elsewhere. Now I wouldn’t dare be caught with a lit cigarette between Agate and Alder, 18th and Broadway. So, I’m like Socrates: I respect the laws, even if I disagree with them (hopefully they won’t condemn me to drink poison).

I’ve changed my route to the PLC so I can burn a quick one before class. Between classes I’ll sneak to the other side of Kincaid and hope my smoke doesn’t drift eastward. When I’m walking home, I’ll wait until I pass our smoke-free campus boundary to hang out with Mr. Stogie. And my general impression when I’m near campus is that of an exile that’s coming too close to his old town.

I’m not going to bring up a losing argument against the movement that banned smoke and tobacco from campus. I understand that it bothers people and they’d prefer not to walk through a cloud of second-hand smoke before they go into the library (now they can just settle for a line of smokers on the perimeter of campus). I realize that many smokers are not as conscious as I would say I am about the social toxicity of second-hand smoke. But I am bothered by the air of zero-tolerance that seems antithetical to what we stand for as Ducks. STFU? Has there ever been another campus campaign that could get away with condemning behavior like this, enough so that smokers are implicitly told to Shut The F!@# Up? I don’t think so.

But what bothers me more than the little inconveniences and my status as a pariah is that, in my case, the STFU campaign has actually worked. Since the new year started, I haven’t smoked a sober cigarette. Maybe this is because I feel so unwanted by my peers when I reach for my pack of stoges. It’s a bit of a drag to think that I can be so easily manipulated.