EL PASO — I do not smoke. But. I am married to a smoker. I would say chain smoker but he would say I am exaggerating, he is not a chain smoker and I will say yes you are, I and then… pff, you don’t want to know. Let’s leave it like this: I am married to a smoker.
And the smoker that I chose to share my life with was the one who told me about this new tobacco free campus policy at UTEP. His heart was beating fast, well maybe it wasn’t but news like these require a bit of drama. This new regulation means no more smoking for students, faculty and personnel in general in any university building or property and grounds owned or controlled by UTEP. No more smoking in other places such as parking areas, sidewalks, walkways and university housing. I am serious: no more.
I know, believe me, I know that behind this new policy is the idea of making our campus healthier but I think it was little too fast, too definitive. I am a professor who deals with students everyday and I wonder how would this impact in them. Will every smoker in the campus be grumpy? Will they feel anxiety? Will the smokers in my classes be grumpy? Should I have gums and candies for all of them? What to do? I am not joking, those who do not deal with an addiction like smoking do not understand those who do. Breaking a habit is not easy at all.
I am happy for all those lungs that will hopefully be healthier but I pity their owners cause they will be challenged everyday in school because now to smoke or not to smoke is not even a question. So, please, be patient with everyone in campus, changes are not easy.