Letter to the editor


USC must ban all smoking 

Though California boasts the second lowest rate of adult smokers in the nation and many American college campuses have banned smoking, USC is still bafflingly hesitant to issue an anti-smoking policy.

USC should ban smoking on campus because it is unfair for non-smokers, who are the majority, to involuntarily breathe in the toxins that permeate our shared air supply.

Second-hand smoke is responsible for more than 49,000 deaths per year. Though smokers blatantly disregard the well-being of those around them, they also lack common courtesy. Smoking on campus is inconsiderate because many non-smokers in the area find the smell of smoke unappealing. It can give people headaches, irritate their eyes, soil their clothing and hair and ruin the pleasant meals they’re trying to enjoy outdoors.

Those who still wish to purchase and enjoy cigarettes would certainly be welcome to do so off campus. Though I acknowledge that such a policy change would be a slight inconvenience for current smokers, there are plenty of exits around the perimeter of campus that smokers can easily walk to if they want to smoke.

A smoking ban on campus would be a small change for smokers to make with a magnanimous, beneficial impact on campus life in general, bettering our campus’ air quality, our community’s health — for both smokers and non-smokers — and our school’s image.

Most businesses and restaurants in California have already banned smoking in and around their workplaces, and Los Angeles, in particular, has notoriously bad air supply problems. So why should USC contribute to the problem? Since the actions of individual USC students represent the entire student body and university name, as a community we should be more conscious about the reputation we uphold, as well as the toxins we are emitting.

Lindsey Smith

Senior, communication 


  • Suni Ellis

    USC must ban on cell phone use. It is unfair to force others to involuntarily be subjected to cell phone radiation. Most expensive restaurants have already banned cell phone usage in their dining areas – why is USC so bafflingly hesitant to issue this policy?

  • Major General

    I don’t smoke and find it highly unpleasant when others do so in my presence. In fact, I asked my roommates last year not to smoke cigars with the front door open as it stunk up the house and my clothes. However, its a whole new field when you ask the state or university to ban it altogether. I too find this fascist and do not appreciate the government or university telling me how to make personal decisions in my life.

    Tell me, do you also want to ban high-calorie foods because they cause heart disease? How about high-emissions vehicles because of the pollution they cause and their unpleasant nature? How about the government just tells us what job is best for us, who we can marry, where we can go to college and whether or not we should have kids?

  • Anonymous

    As the first two comments pointed out, this article is laughable. Does the author have any understanding of basic science? To say that smoking contributes to the overall Los Angeles air quality problem is straight up not true. Smoking outside in a completely unenclosed area does not have a measurable effect on the health of others.

    Some people don’t like the smell of smoke? Neither do I, but that doesn’t mean I try to go around limiting the rights of individuals. There are no problems with the designated smoking areas that currently exist.

  • Mitch Targus

    This letter is so demanding, so facist. USC must do this! USC must do that! Everyone should march in step with other schools! Why would you want to turn USC into Storm Trooper University?

    So people smoke, big deal. Some people wear too much perfume. Some people spend too much time in the tanning bed. Some people eat too many twinkies. Some people spend to much time on Facebook. We shouldn’t outlaw all of those things, but let people have their journey and figure out what works for them. That is what college should be about, figuring out what works for you in a free environment.

    And if you are worried about emitting toxins, put a sheet of fabric softener in your britches.

  • Anonymous

    Second-hand smoke in an unenclosed space has no implications on health. Los Angeles’ air quality is not impacted by smokers, and certainly not by the few present on USC’s campus. Aren’t actual facts amazing?

    On an unrelated note, this sentence is not English:

    A smoking ban on campus would be a small change for smokers to make with a magnanimous, beneficial impact on campus life in general, bettering our campus’ air quality, our community’s health — for both smokers and non-smokers — and our school’s image.

    I would hope that a student studying communication would be capable of conveying her ideas clearly. That is not the case here. There is also a blatant lack of copy-editing.