Smoking smells, writer says

Dan Holbrook

Cursed with poor vision, unreliable hearing, no balance, a dulled sense of taste and-after sticking my hands in a heater at the age of three-a greatly diminished tactile sense, I have a necessary fondness for the miracle of olfaction.I like the smell of new books, miracle whip, lilacs, and freshly-chiseled cement. I told my roommate earlier today that I liked the smell of his conditioner, but since he’s made himself scarce since then I’m going to assume that was a bad idea.

And there’s that one other scent I really like. Though I’m not a smoker myself, I like the smell.

The non-smoking majority’s decision Wednesday night to create a non-smoking halo around nearly every residence hall was hardly shocking. It made perfect sense to me, in fact. This was a smell-vote.

I’m with the smelly minority on this one, but apparently my fellow students don’t quite appreciate the subtlety of tobacco fumes. Some hid behind the untenable connection between secondhand smoke and lung cancer, some worried that their delicate allergies might be aggravated by a few seconds exposure to the noxious fumes.

But the most common and most honest argument for the smoking halo wasn’t far removed from my anti-halo argument. Students don’t like the smell. They don’t want it near them or on their clothes.

Don’t get me wrong: clean is a good smell. And smoky clothes certainly don’t have the same appeal for me as fumes straight from the source. But this decision punishes smokers, who seem to enjoy their deadly habit, far more than it benefits nonsmokers.

For all the talk of tolerance at Lawrence-we have a Diversity Center, after all-it seems we’d prefer a sanitized society to one that respects the often puzzling decisions of others.

But my biggest complaint is that you started at the wrong sense, the best sense. So it’s time for a few more halos. Surely, Lawrence, there must be something that offends your eyes, your ears?

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