Does the tobacco activity on campus make you anxious? Does widespread smoking or public hookah sessions bother you? Eastern has enacted a campus-wide tobacco ban to protect people from adverse health risks.
Yes, a lot of tobacco is produced in the state. But banning tobacco use on campus could have the positive affect of improving the health of many people, young and old.
Secondhand smoke harms many unwilling people. Many smokers have the attitude that it’s their body they can smoke, they’re going to die anyway, etc. Their addicted demeanor prevents them from quitting and they just can’t stop. In reality it’s not just hurting them its slowly killing others as well.
We live in America and we are free to smoke if we choose. Will people stop coming to class after the ban is set in place? Will enrollment drop? Will people continue to smoke publicly or sneak cigarettes in when they can?
We can’t stop people from smoking, but efforts should start somewhere to limit its effects. That somewhere is on a college campus. There are so many positives that will come from the ban. People will be more focused, healthier and with better hygiene. Campus leaders have also planned to help smokers with assistance to quit instead of just strictly trying to get smokers to stop cold turkey. Simply policing this habit may cause many to stop smoking but ultimately its up to the smoker to drop the habit.
Smoking bans do limit personal freedoms, to smokers, but smokers limit the privileges of others who should have access to clean air all over campus. It isn’t just about the health of the smokers or others it’s about air pollution. We all deserve to breathe in clean air and to be able to walk around or to class and not indulge in second hand smoke.
On this campus, students continue to sit around entrances to get a smoke in between classes. Since the students tend to pack around the doorways, students going to and from the building have to inhale the smoke. The same goes for some faculty and staff.
We have sheltered smoke cubicles that are for smoking only but it’s very rare that anyone uses them. There is a rule that you can only smoke within so many feet of a building, but few follow said policy.
It is essential that we support this enactment on Eastern’s campus for a healthier environment, for our health and future.
Chelsey Hernandez is a criminal justice sophomore . Email firstname.lastname@example.org.