Banning smoking on campus
Nicole Dellolio – Opinions Editor
College smokers are finding themselves in a dilemma as universities are starting to crack down on banning smoking and other tobacco products from campus grounds.
Here at SCSU, smoking is prohibited inside all buildings and state and University owned vehicles. This includes all indoor spaces such as classrooms, elevators, and eating areas. Not only does this include students, but this policy also includes faculty and visitors that are on campus. Now I completely agree with this policy, and I do not think that people should be able to smoke indoors anywhere because the smoke is trapped in the building and it becomes a discomfort to everybody that is inside.
According to Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, “Research demonstrates that smokefree laws results in lower cancer, heart attack, and asthma rates. These laws also make it easier for those smokers who want to quit to do so because they are not constantly surrounded by smoke from others.”
I remember going into restaurants and seeing designated sections for smoking and nonsmoking, but now smoking is not allowed in restaurants at all. I completely agree with this, because everybody is in one closed in area. One of the only places that I have seen people smoking indoors is in casinos such as Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods. This didn’t really bother me because the area is huge, but I couldn’t imagine standing in an elevator or being in an airport with people standing and smoking around me.
Just sitting in a restaurant with people across the room smoking made is unpleasant for me to try and enjoy my meal because I constantly smelt the smoke from across the room.
“Hospitality industry and casino workers still have the lowest level of smoke free protections and have the highest cancer rate of any occupational sector in America,” according to the Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights.
While this idea sounds good in theory, I’d have to disagree with it because it is taking away students’ freedom to be able to smoke on campus. Schools have begun to assign designated areas to smokers so the smoke can stay away from the rest of the students. It would be a different situation if we were dealing with students smoking on campus in high schools because a lot of the students there would be under the legal age of 18, but students who in college are able to smoke legally. Every individual is in charge of their own lives, so they can determine whether or not they want to be a smoker without the push from authoritative figures.
“There are about 1,180 schools with 100 percent smoking bans,” according to USA Today. “Of these, about 800 campuses ban all forms of tobacco.”
In 2012, Governor Mary Fallin signed an executive order, which made all state-owned property tobacco-free, according to USA Today. The University of Oklahoma passed a tobacco ban before this statewide executive took effect in 2012 and students have said that the new ban is making a big difference, according to USA Today.
The most beneficial thing for the university to do is to keep the smoking ban the same way it is now because it gives rights to students, but at the same time keeps them safe from second-hand smoke by giving them designated areas to go.