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 firstname.lastname@example.org.