Last week, a Beaconsfield resident asked his town council to address what he considered to be a problem: students from Beaconsfield High School smoking drugs on the street near the school. The news story sparked a lively exchange of comments online. What was interesting was the fact that most readers were more concerned with the problem of students smoking cigarettes.
“My children and other pupils have no choice but to walk through the contaminated air to get to and from school,” one reader commented, referring to the far greater number of students who smoke just off school property.
“I encourage you to take a real good look for yourself at what the true issue is here, cigarettes,” wrote another. “It is perfectly legal to smoke a cigarette on Beaconsfield Court…. If there is really a difference that will be made here, it is in the prohibition of tobacco in public areas such as this street.”
Driving around the school at lunchtime one day last week, I would have to agree. If anyone was smoking dope, it wasn’t obvious. What was obvious was the students who were huddled just inches from school property smoking cigarettes. They weren’t bothering anyone. They were not causing a disturbance. But the scene did provide a glimpse of just how many young people still smoke. And that is what I think readers who have witnessed the scene were sparking to.
Is it enough for schools to ban smoking from the premises? What if towns banned smoking on public streets? Bars and restaurants have done it. Would you be in favour of it?