For every eight smoker’s tobacco kills, one non-smoker is also killed by second hand smoke.´(American Lung Association) With a fact like that, it makes one really think about where they have been and how much smoke they have been subjected to. For me, attending college every day and walking through clouds of smoke to get from class to class really begins to put my health into perspective. Should a public place such as a college campus receive more rights than a facility such as a restaurant, department or grocery store? With an individuals health rights, the cleanliness around campus, and overall irritation of some of the students at risk, I believe college campus’ should become America’s new target against smoking and become smoke free.
When something starts to validate an individuals health rights, issues will be brought up. Smoking is something that America has discovered more and more about over the years and has found increasing numbers of facts about diseases and problems associated with it and the pollution it emits. Anyone who passes by a smoker can inhale the excess smoke and potentially be affected. Slowly, second hand smoke is something we are starting to become more aware of and businesses around America are starting to crack down on banning smoking in their facilities. College campus’ have not been hit by this new ban, though, and continue to let students crowd around their doors to get a smoke in between classes. Because the students tend to crowd around the doors, students entering or exiting the building inhale the smoke. Personally I am an individual that does not smoke so I really do not have any desire to incur any of the dangers that are associated with it.
Also because college campuses are where students spend the majority of their day, avoiding contact with it is almost impossible. According to the US Dept. of Health, second-hand smoke has much higher levels of tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide than the direct smoke a smoker inhales. “The Federal Environmental Protection Agency has classified second-hand smoke as a Group A carcinogen. This category includes only the most dangerous cancer-causing substance, such as asbestos and radon.” (American Lung Association) The potential effects of second hand smoke are a lot more dangerous than people expect, and the build up from inhalation can lead to serious problems for individuals in the future.
Just by simply passing by a smoker and taking a breath in and out, over time can cause damage. If this becomes an everyday routine, as one walks to and from his/her class each day they are at risk for potential problems from second hand smoke. Everyone has the right to smoke once they’ve reached the legal age, and I have no desire to discriminate against them, but if they choose to jeopardize their health it should have nothing to do with a stranger just passing by as they enjoy. A possible drive or smoke before or after they attend school might be a solution just as long as the individual isn’t on campus.
Also, with smoking, cleanliness of the campus becomes an issue. For smokers, big cement ashtrays are set up outside to collect the excess cigarette when the individual is done smoking it. These ashtrays often are not given a second glance and the cigarette butts are thrown on the ground around the campus doors. The sight of cigarette butts strewn along the sidewalks around campus is disgusting and does not do much for the lawn attempting to grow along it. When the ashtrays are used, the smell of smoke emanates from them. Pollution from the cigarettes is also an issue, whether it is coming from the cigarette and the individual smoking it outside, or from the ashtrays.
Smoke from anything causes damage to our environment and pollutes the air around it, but with cigarette smoke especially, chemicals are being emitted into the atmosphere as well. Persecution against smokers has never been my goal but when the place where I spend the majority of my day becomes a slight dumping ground for smoking, I believe some alternative needs to be made. Possibly, areas set up away from the campus specifically for smokers could be created so as not to punish college smokers but to keep the cigarette pollution in a confined area.
From some of the problems that are surrounding smoking on campus, some students have begun to get irritated. Author, Lydia Sax states, “Smoking is on the rise, physical and emotional self confidence is down, and feelings of stress are up,” for college students. We all understand that smoking relieves stress for some but with the number of smokers on college campuses, non-smokers are starting to become affected. After walking in from outside, clothes tend to smell of smoke and those allergic to the particles become affected.
Issues may be minor and tolerable to a point but when instances of individuals who do not have any desire to be affected by smoke become more and more frequent, students want a change. Second hand smoke is dangerous and the affects of smoke have only disadvantages. I think everyone is aware of the effects of smoking and those who chose to ignore them, choose to ignore them. But for those people that choose not to be affected, second hand smoke can be very irritating.
With the awareness of the dangers smoking causes, companies around the world are working to no longer allow it in their buildings. The dangers of second hand smoke and the irritants of it have finally become truly noticed. College campuses are still allowing it, and it is affecting the students. With issues concerning an individuals health rights, the cleanliness of the campus, and irritation of students, I feel that smoking should be banned from campuses. Everyone has a right to choose what or what not to subject themselves to, because second hand smoke has been proven to be just as harmful as first hand, for some people that right has been revoked.