Visual Argument, Smoker’s Benches


On the campus of Rochester of Institute of Technology there are the designated smoking areas. These designated smoking benches are a visual argument against the smoking of tobacco products. These smoking areas are located far from campus buildings, and unaccommodating.

This physical distance is evidence of RIT making a visual argument against the practice of smoking. The premises of RIimg_00641T’s visual argument are “RIT’s smoking areas are located far away from buildings.”. If w Articulation of the visual warrant is best described in a sign statement, “Locating items far away is a sign of an nonacceptance”.

Further, evidence of the anti-smoking visual argument is the unaccommodating nature of the smoking bench. The bench is very visually unaccommodating. In the design there is no protection from the wind, or the rain. This visual characteristic pertains to the warrant “Unwanted items are often not taken care of”. The premise found in the visual argument is “RIT does not take care of its smokers”.

Using the two premises found in this visual argument one can infer that these smoker’s benches are a visual argument that the “RIT community does not condone the practice of smoking tobacco products.”  I find this visual argument very intriguing, because it is a very subdued yet pervasive method to reject the habit of smoking.  This visual argument is very intriguing because it uses real people a subject in the visual argument. Upon looking at a smoker at one of these benches, one notices that they outcast from society. Therefore, it discourages starting the habit of smoking and joining these outcasts.


4 thoughts on “Visual Argument, Smoker’s Benches

  1. I loved your perspective on RIT’s designated smoking benches and why the designated smoking areas are where they are located at. Honestly that did not cross my mind, but your thinking made sense. It may seem unfair to the smokers, but they are being subtly told that smoking is unhealthy and dangerous. Yet, without shelter they may be forced to smoke in their rooms or become sneaky and find a warmer and drier places to do one or two cigarettes. Maybe shelters should be added, at least because they do have the right to smoke, you know. I have the right to hold my breath (or cover my mouth/nose) so I do not breathe the nasty smoke.

    I had to look at the picture again and the bench in the picture looks so uninviting. The area seems to be saying, “at least RIT designated this area and the bench for smokers, so it is better than nothing.” The picture is almost making me feel bad for the smokers who are not welcomed to smoke in comfort.

  2. This was an amazing, real life example of a subtle yet powerful visual argument. I think of almost the exact same things when I see these, quickly constructed smoking areas. The areas were a response to the small smoking community who rebelled against the “no smoking on campus or around the residential areas”. I remember back when I was a freshmen and the disgusting smell of people smoking on the quarter mile, in front of the library, and by the dorms. Now none of that is allowed anymore, but the community of smokers put up a fight saying that people can drink their coffee everywhere, and even alcoholics have 2 locations on campus they can go and buy drinks. Therefore RIT quickly rebuttalled with these half put together benches and paved extra patches to smoke on. RIT knew it had lost the verbal argument when the smokers brought up such a valid point about caffeine and alcohol.

    These benches with no weather coverage, and the uncomfortable, uninviting appeal of the whole area, isolated and far away, does the most effective visual argument. Clearly ostracizing the smoking community and forcing them to be very cold out in the elements during the long winter months. The visual message that the smokers are not a included part of the RIT community is so clear that it definitely won the argument.

  3. These benches are definitely very unwelcoming. The college is, for sure, sending a message of not caring about smokers. These benches are in plain site so people can see you, which may not be a huge deal to everyone but, for some people they are embarrassed of their addiction. Agreeing with what you said, there is no protection from harsh weather here in Rochester. Who wants to go sit/stand in this area when its negative 10 degrees? Probably no one. I feel like it a movement RIT is setting to get smoking off the campus. I know all SUNY schools have to be a smoke free campus by a certain year, I think 2017? I could be wrong. I believe that is why RIT is doing this and making these areas so uninviting, they want to rid smoking off this campus as well or, at least reduce it.

  4. I’m going to use this as an example in classes in the future. You mention that RIT doesn’t care about the smokers but its interesting that they provide places at all.

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