It is always interesting to hear the perspectives of college students on smoking bans for their school. While some applaud their college or university for taking a stand on smoking and tobacco use on campus, others seem to be against any type of regulation that takes away a personal freedom. At one such institution of higher education the administration recently received legislation from their student government to “permanently ban smoking on campus.” If approved and implemented the proposal would not only ban the use of tobacco, but would ban the “sales of all tobacco products on campus.”
The reason for the ban is that students feel that smoking “no longer has a place on campus,” and one student who wrote the article for the school paper has an issue with this, sort of. He admits “cigarettes and chewing tobacco are horrendous for the human body,” cause cancer and the campus would be healthier without them. He says use of these products doesn’t make sense, while at the same time admitting he does use the products. He believes that the ban only serves as a buffer between “the young adult” phase the students are in now and “the real world,” and will “further misinform students to the real world.”
Mr. Student, a smoking ban on your campus will reflect the “real world,” but your state is very pro-tobacco so this measure may seem harsh. As of January 2014, “28 states have enacted statewide bans on smoking in all enclosed places, including all bars and restaurants. Many hotels and motels ban smoking, as do many hospitals. In the “real world” many employers may not hire a smoker and if they do, you can expect to pay higher health insurance costs out of your own pocket. And if you want to find that special person to share your life with, you may have a more difficult time as 58% of respondents on Match.com said “they absolutely would not consider dating a smoker.”
You complain that putting a smoking ban in place will no longer teach you “how to healthily operate in a world filled with dangerous, unhealthy things” because these things have been removed. I bet if you think back to your younger days, you will remember your parents also removed the “dangerous, unhealthy things” like cleaning products and yard chemicals out of your reach to keep you healthy and safe until such time that you could be taught that these things were dangerous unless handled correctly and used in the manner they were intended.
So, Mr. Student, go back and read what you wrote: tobacco is horrendous to the human body. It harms nearly every organ of the body. It contains 599 ingredients and more than 7,000 chemicals when burned, with at least 69 known to cause cancer. Most of those chemicals you would never, ever consider consuming. And if nearly 70% of adult cigarette smokers want to quit smoking, what does that tell you about cigarettes?
you are lucky to live in a time where an abundance of information on the dangers of tobacco can be found and that the tobacco companies can no longer refute. You are still young and quitting will be easier for you now then if you wait because, let’s face it, you will only make yourself sicker the longer you smoke. 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
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