We’ve seen them circling the Lunsford, lighting up parking lots or fogging up unpopulated pathways. Though in violation of ACU policy, cigarette usage is infiltrating campus. But how should nonsmokers react? When students spot a smoker, should they go up to the guilty party and politely tell them to stop? Should they list the number of health hazards in conjunction with cigarette smoking? These attempts could be made, but chances are, if someone’s already chosen to 1) ruin their health and 2) break campus rules, they’re not going to respond very well to any suggestions.
Perhaps honesty is the best policy, yet in the case of smoking we believe a sneakier, less evasive approach is more likely to ensure less air pollution. It’s not a real fire we’re dealing with here, so beating around the bush is a perfect tactic to quench the flames.Â Below are some excellent passive-aggressive ways of handling this nuisance to ensure ACU remains a smoke-free zone.
1)Â Â Â When a cloud of smoke permeates the air, take on a heavy cough immediately. This will obviously make the smoker aware of the outside effects of their habit.
2)Â Â Â Carry a water mister in a back pocket, and while watering the landscaping on campus, “accidentally” take aim toward the fire-paper sticking out of a friend’s (or stranger’s) mouth. Don’t doubt, just aim (unintentionally of course) and fire. On a warm day, a slight mist might even be a welcome relief.
3)Â Â Â Take a moment to memorize some common health risks of smoking. When passing by a smoker, it should be easy to nonchalantly interject these into any conversation. For example, “I’m nervous about my upcoming speech in communications class. Good thing I don’t smoke and won’t have to worry about bad breath on top of everything else.” Bad hygiene and a guilty conscience – it’s a two-in-one combo.
4)Â Â Â Though a slightly more aggressive approach, if worse comes to worse, yelling, “Fire!” really loudly is always a great fallback. This works best in large groups of people.
Okay, okay, so we’re not really serious. While smokers may not follow the rules when they choose to light up on campus, that doesn’t mean we have the right to spray water in their face or yell fire in a crowded theater – ever. There is even the chance they don’t know the rules and deserve a kind explanation of campus protocol before any water fiascoes ensue. Plus, passive-aggressiveness in any form is just too much work.
Simply stated, our only request is this: Smokers, stop blowing smoke in our faces, and we’ll stop coughing in yours; a win-win for everyone.