Following the smoke-free lead

Raha Assadi-Lamouki — University student

Oct. 1 was the fifth anniversary of Minnesota’s smoke-free law. As a student at the University of Minnesota, it was yet another reminder of how important it is that we clear the air on our campus.

I was interested to read in an Oct. 1 Minnesota Daily letter to the editor titled, “A call for a smoke-free campus” that students report the place that they are most exposed to secondhand smoke is on campus. This makes sense considering the entire state of Minnesota has made clearing the air a priority, but students at the University won’t.

I’ve heard people say a smoke-free campus is different from our statewide law because it includes outside areas, but it’s not so different from the nearly 30 other college campuses in our state that are standing up to protect their students from the cancer-causing toxins found in secondhand smoke.

Walking to class, the Recreation Center or Coffman to grab a quick snack should not be a health risk, but if I get stuck behind a smoker during passing time, that’s exactly what it is.

Let’s follow the lead of other colleges in Duluth, Mankato and Winona and put the health of our fellow students first. Let’s go smoke-free.