Don’t bring anything too hot near the underpass at Love Library unless you want a nice carbon dioxide surprise. Thanks to the student government’s most recent election results, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has taken some new and novel anti-smoking measures around campus.
As a gentle nudge toward completing its total tobacco ban on its campuses, UNL has installed heat-sensing fire extinguishers in key locations underneath the Link at Love Library. UNL IT Administrator Doug Lukeson gave The DailyER a rundown of how the system works:
“The devices are equipped with infrared cameras calibrated to recognize the heat from a lit cigarette and triangulate the cigarette’s location in the no-smoking zone. After identifying and locating a lit cigarette, the nearest extinguisher quickly extends toward the stogie on an extending arm and shoots a cone of CO2 only two inches in diameter, which keeps passerby safe from the blast.”
Opinions across campus are mostly positive, but some smokers and non-smokers alike have gripes with the new smoking-prevention measure. Franklin Denzel, a senior business management major and habitual smoker, thinks the system is overkill. “I understand that all tobacco is going to be banned starting in January, but this AI-controlled cigarette extinguisher business is ridiculous. It’s not like we’re just standing around under there smoking. I used to be able to walk across campus while getting my fix, no problem, but now I have to worry about getting blasted with CO2 by a damn robot,” Denzel said.
Sophomore chemistry major Laura Washington likes her coffee pretty hot, and that’s caused a bit of a problem for her when she passes by the library. “I guess the heat coming from the hole in my coffee lid looks like the lit end of a cigarette because I’ve been blasted with CO2 twice so far while walking underneath the library. They need to fix that, because I’m tired of walking into class looking like I just came off a three-day coke bender.”