Smoking ban should be enacted here

The ban, which was enacted at all 14 state universities and colleges, would create a better atmosphere on Main Campus.

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education has banned smoking on all 14 of its university campuses.

The other colleges and universities within the state should follow suit.

Smoking cigarettes on campus infringes on an individual’s freedom to live and learn in a healthy environment. Allowing smokers to suck on their cancer sticks and blow toxic smoke clouds into the fresh air corrupts each student’s pursuit of happiness.

One day prior to the Pennsylvania legislature’s statewide ban on smoking, PSSHE Chancellor John Cavanaugh mocked the ban and prohibited butts anywhere on campuses’ grounds, including outdoors at the state-owned universities. Outdoor smoking was banned because some professors hold their classes outside in addition to various university-sponsored events.

“I’m a med student, so I know secondhand smoking kills more people than cardiovascular disease,” said Bimal Patel, a senior nursing major. “People who are smoking should know they are causing drastic effects on their lungs.”

According to the American Lung Association, secondhand smoke is responsible for approximately 3,400 lung cancer deaths and 22,700 to 69,600 heart disease deaths in adult non-smokers in the United States each year.

This epidemic isn’t specific to indoor contact either. According to a study published in the Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association by Stanford University researchers, a non-smoker is likely to be exposed “to substantial levels of contaminated air for brief periods of time,” only a few feet downwind from a lit cigarette.

As a nonsmoker, I cannot comprehend the value of filling my fragile lungs with clouds of cancer-causing agents.

“I don’t like it. I don’t want to smoke. It’s a bad decision I made and I should have never started,” said senior actuarial science major Meghan Sweeney.

Some smoke cigarettes as a catalyst for stress relief. That’s idiotic.

First, the relief is so temporary that one cigarette might not do the trick. That’s why there’s more than one in a pack, so smokers are forced to buy more.

Second, the stress cancer will cause 30 years from now is worse than any test or bill could fuel.
Lastly, and most importantly, cigarettes don’t harm just the body. The detrimental effects extend to the man, woman or child walking, standing or sitting nearby. The chain reaction that follows is uncontrollable and irresponsible to the consumer.

Don’t smoke on campus. It’s bad for your health, it’s bad for my health and we could save lives without it.

Tom Rowan can be reached at


  1. We’re in bad shape when a senior nursing major believes that exposure to secondary smoke “kills more people than cardiovascular disease.”

    Temple of course is free to do what it wants, as is the state university system. But where the state system has gone horribly wrong is in the fact that it has, in effect, lied to the students under its care. The state law is quite clear in stating that its ban extends ONLY to “enclosed areas” of educational facilities. There is no “intepretation” needed. It’s there in black and white. See:

    Smoking bans are bad laws based upon lies (See the Stiletto at:

    for a full examination of those lies)

    but this particular ban in the open air of campuses takes the lies even a step further. The University system should be ashamed of itself for falsely raising the specter of State Authority in imposing an unpopular dictum upon its students and the students should demand that the University officials responsible be held fully accountable for their actions.

    Playing the “Don’t Blame Me! I’m Just Following Orders!” game is a sleazy educational lesson to pass to our children, but it’s made even worse when it’s false.

    Michael J. McFadden
    Author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains”

  2. a non-smoker writing an editorial about smoking is like listening to ned flanders talk about recovering from a heroin addiction.
    neither know anything.

  3. Hard to tell which part of this editorial is more appalling: the level of rote ignorance, prissy preachiness, pushy presumption, or rank intolerance. As a journalist, too, this writer gets an F for his lack or fact checking. A recommended start: the stats for cardiac death in the US, the chemistry and physics of smoke (any smoke) in the ambient air, and the difference between mainstream and sidestream smoke.

    The writer, I suppose, would be shocked (shocked!) to learn that nonsmokers are “exposed to [much more] substantial levels of [much much more] contaminated air for [much much longer] periods of time” by simply walking– let alone jogging– down the street, by sitting at a table where a candle is burning, by being in the kitchen when a hamburger’s frying or a turkey’s roasting, and a hundred other normal daily activities. He’d be further surprised that the body’s reaction to even intense exposure to smoke (like being locked in a phonebooth with 7 smokers) is exactly the same, in terms of vascular changes, as the body’s reaction to eating a meal. (JAMA, V 278, 1997, Plotnick et al, and Am Jnl Clin Nut, 8/07, Rudolph et al). And terrified to learn that his eagerly awaited morning cup of coffee contains 1900 chemicals, 19 of which are proven carcinogens, and that simply “waking up and smelling the coffee” means he’s inhaling them. Oh, the horror. ( Science, Vol. 258, 10.9.92, “Rodent Carcinogens: Setting Priorities.” Ames et al)

    But most interesting–and surely most appalling of all– is how quickly this student has uncritically absorbed the dangerous lessons of a manufactured bigotry.

  4. Couldn’t say it better than Walt and Michael. So I won’t. Instead I’ll note that this serves as a prime example of institutes of “higher” learning being indoctrination centers instead of educational facilities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.