By Stacy Shoonover, Staff Writer

More prevalent on campus than one would think./PHOTO VIA Flickr user Fried Dough

More prevalent on campus than one would think./PHOTO VIA Flickr user Fried Dough

Talking to people about personal habits is never easy. When that habit is smoking, the air is even more tense.

After speaking to 50 BU students who smoke, I found that 90 percent of them started smoking before they came to college.

I also noticed that there is about an even population of guy smokers to girl smokers. There did not seem to be a dominant race that smoked either, just as BU’s student body is very diverse – so is the smoking student body.

My interviews were all conducted at the common smoke spots: outside of dormitories, benches along Bay State Road, Cummington Avenue, outside of the GSU, Marsh Chapel, the BU Beach and Commonwealth Avenue.

Most of the smokers I tried to interview didn’t feel comfortable being interviewed about their habits, or using their names in the article. Some, however, felt confident in sharing their experience with me.

No two smokers are alike. Some love smoking, some hate that they smoke. Some never want to quit and some have already tried and failed. Many support e-cigarettes and many disagree with them completely.

An observation from talking to non-smokers that I made is they usually judge one individual smoker based on the smoking population as a whole. Through this, I noticed that non-smokers dwell on the fact that tobacco products aren’t good for the health, and so they believe that no one should smoke. Period.

However, the same observation of “no two smokers are alike” can also be made for non-smokers. Many hate second-hand smoke, but at the same time many non-smokers don’t mind or don’t think it has a large enough effect to make a difference.

Bottom line: just because someone smokes doesn’t mean they are the same as every other smoker. Just like dying hair, or getting a tattoo – one shouldn’t be judged primarily on an appearance or habit.