Keep your self-righteous smoking politics out of my lungs


I don’t smoke anymore. 

I smoked a pack-a-day for around a decade, but then one day I realized I couldn’t breathe and my throat felt like raw hamburger meat.

E-Cigarettes helped me quit and I’m not looking back, except for when I’ve had a few too many drinks or I’m feeling nostalgic; I still like the smell of stale cigarettes and perfume. 

I loved smoking, but never in those 10 years did I push through a political mandate that forced someone to smoke. If I had, I would have been written off as an insane person. 

My slogan would have been along the lines of “It tastes really bad and you’ll die sooner, but it kinda feels good.” My only supporters would have been some amalgam of existential nihilists and tobacco lobbyists. 

The point is this:

I enjoyed doing something, but I fully realized it wasn’t my place to convince other people to do it, too. 

Forcing your beliefs on someone with a political mandate makes you at best, a busy body and at worst, morally bankrupt. 

The smoking ban is a piece of feel-good legislation pushed through with appeals to emotion by holier-than-thou hypocrites with an axe to grind against people making their own decisions. 

The kicker is that it won’t do a damn thing. 

South Dakota State has been the only smoking-friendly South Dakota Board of Regents institution for a while, and with Students’ Association passing this ban, I’m sure it will continue that way. 

Will you call campus police on someone for smoking outside their dorm? Are university police going to have an anti-smoking squad that walks around picking up cigarette butts, with a pad of pre-written tickets and anti-smoking propaganda? 

My gut says no. 

What gives you the right to decide what choices other people make?

Garrett Ammesmaki is a news editor at The Collegian and can be reached at [email protected].