[HY Talk] Smoking Areas of Hanyang University. What Do You Think?
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HY Talk is a series which opens a chance to listen to the opinions of Hanyangians on various controversial issues. This second article deals with the smoking areas within Hanyang University (HYU). Currently, the whole campus is designated as a non-smoking area except for the specified smoking areas, including three smoking booths within the Seoul campus. However, there are unceasing conflicts between smokers and nonsmokers on different positions they stand. We have therefore gathered two smokers and two non-smokers, to find out the intrinsic reasons of these conflicts and also to exchange opinions of smoking booths set up within the campus.
▷ Click to see the first article, Sexism in Online Games, What Do You Think?’
Problems of smoking areas
Chairperson: Hello everyone, thank you all for participating. There are various opinions on smoking areas between smokers and nonsmokers. What do you think about the smoking areas within HYU?
Smoker A: I feel that there are too few designated smoking areas. There are a lot of people who smoke in places they’re not meant to such as Haengwon Park and the Engineering Building Ⅱ, but I believe there is a reason why they continue their actions. One is because the university is reducing the number of smoking areas, and another is because of the different opinions between the students and the school. I think the students aren’t fully aware of the existence of official smoking areas.
Smoker B: I also feel that wee need more areas for smokers within the school. There should be a way for smokers and non-smokers to coexist in the campus. However, smoking areas are unilaterally decreasing and people who smoke eventually need some space to smoke. For example, there are no smoking areas near the Engineering Building Ⅱ even though a lot of courses are taking place in the building. I think that’s why a lot of people tend to smoke in front of the building.
Non-smoker C: Since I don’t smoke, I simply hate the smell of cigarettes. There are people smoking between the Social Science Building and the Policy Building even though it is a non-smoking area. I always have to smell cigarettes when I pass by this road. I think more smoking booths or smoking areas should be made in the right places so that people like me wouldn’t have to feel unpleasant.
Non-smoker D: I use the music building very often, but there are people who smoke in its basement. This smell, starting from the basement, fills the whole building that is five stories high with the smell of cigarettes. Ventilation isn’t made properly so the smoke stays within the building.
A solution made by the school; smoking booths
Chairperson: As one of the solutions of the conflicts, HYU invested a lot of money to construct three smoking booths within the campus. These smoking booths are simple booths that are made to block the smoke, in order to give less harm to the nonsmokers. What do you think about these smoking booths?
A: Other than just being small, no ventilation is possible inside the booth. The difference of smoking in the booth and out of the booth is enormous. The smell remains for a much longer amount of time with much more pungent smell. That’s why I tend to smoke out of the smoking booth most of the time.
B: I heard that around 30 million won was required for each smoking booth. Despite the amount of money they've spent, I personally think it is ineffective. People can’t use this booth since it’s stifling even to the smokers, due to the impossibility of ventilation. This booth gets too hot during the summer and too cold during the winter. Other effective solutions should be made instead of the smoking booth.
C: I didn’t know a lot about the smoking booth since I don’t smoke. However, after listening to their opinions, I think it’s urgent to change the current status. I thought there would be at least some kind of an air purifier since it was so expensive.
Chairperson: How do you think we can make better use of the existing smoking booths then?
A: I believe a modification is most needed. As I know, a smoking booth in Gangnam has an open-roofed smoking booth. By accessing 4m of height to this booth, there is a less threat of second-hand smoking.
D: If the booth can be wide open during a time period when there is little floating population, ventilation might become possible.
C: I also agree. By improving the booth to be a little more pleasant, smokers would be able to willingly smoke in the smoking booth, provoking less conflict.
The rights of both smokers and nonsmokers
Chairperson: A lot of the conflicts put an emphasis on the rights of both smokers and nonsmokers. What do you think is the right of smokers and nonsmokers?
A: I think the school should at least try to communicate with the smokers. They shouldn’t just make smoking areas in random places that is hard to go to. It should be an area close enough, but also an area that could separate smokers and nonsmokers.
B: It is if course right to reduce non-smoking areas. However, I believe consideration is also required for the smokers. The school should be able to arrange a certain area that is close to the building but not in the way of the people passing by.
D: Even though I am a nonsmoker, I think the word ‘right’ fits the smokers more. They pay a lot of tax to smoke, so I believe that nonsmokers should also listen to the smokers to protect certain rights of the smokers.
C: I also agree to D, but I really hope people wouldn’t smoke while they’re walking around. It’s just an attack for us when we have to smell the smoke of cigarettes while we’re walking around.
Solutions to the problem
Chairperson: What do you think should be done regarding the problems of smoking areas?
A: First of all, locations of smoking areas should be changed and widened. A lot of the smoking areas are located in places with a lot of floating population. Moreover, I sincerely hope our school would find some channel to communicate with the smokers on issues regarding smoking areas.
B: I fully agree to the change of locations, since the smoking booth in front of the International Building is also located on the path of other students. Moreover, there are a lot of visitors smoking in non-smoking areas, not only students of HYU. I believe firm fines should be given to the people violating the rules, regardless of students and visitors.
D: I believe the biggest problem is the smell. Nonsmokers react to this fiercely not due to their health, but since it evokes repulsion. If a certain program could be made so that the smokers could also feel this stench, they might be able to understand the non-smokers. Moreover, I believe there should be opportunities for discussion between smokers, so that everyone could reach an effective solution.
On Jung-yun firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos courtesy of On Jung-yun and Yoo Hye-jeong
Designed by On Jung-yun
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