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Let Smokers Smoke

By: Joe Suszczynski

In early February, Senator Chris Murphy sent Central Connecticut State University President, Jack Miller, a letter regarding his initiative to make CCSU a tobacco free campus. In the letter, he stated that United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) started the Tobacco-Free College Campus Initiative in September 2012. Murphy cited the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation saying nearly 1,200 campuses are smoke-free with 811 of them being tobacco free. Also, in the letter, Murphy cited all the statistics regarding the use of tobacco ranging from how many deaths it causes every year to how much it costs in healthcare.

I can respect Senator Murphy’s initiative to make CCSU a tobacco-free campus because he means well and wants to help people. He does have solid evidence to back his initiative. The only thing is that I do not agree with the senator because making CCSU a smoke or tobacco-free campus would be taking away a student’s right to choose.

I have a “live and let live” philosophy on life where, within reason, you should be able to do whatever you want with your own body. If you want to smoke, drink, etc. you should be able to — provided you are of age to use said substances. However, one should also know the consequences of using said substances. If you heavily use tobacco, the chances of developing cancer, or some other illness related to tobacco abuse, you are responsible for doing that to yourself; the same goes with drinking alcohol.

Another reason why CCSU should not do this is because nothing will change, even if CCSU joins the initiative. What I mean by this is that it will be harder to enforce. Signs around campus say that a person has to be at least 25 feet away from a building when smoking; many students who smoke disregard that. If CCSU joins the initiative, I question how hard the school will crackdown on smoking when there is not much done about people smoking right next to the buildings — from what I have seen at least. Students will find other ways to smoke on campus because, if they want to smoke that bad, they will find a way to do so. College kids can be pretty crafty.

I also understand the consequences of secondhand smoke. By the statistics given in Murphy’s letter, about 50,000 people die from secondhand smoke a year. That is horrible. These people do not even smoke, yet can still develop the symptoms of someone who does.

What I would suggest is that CCSU take its own initiative and make designated areas for smokers to smoke. They can select certain areas of campus and mark them appropriately with signs so smokers can smoke without disturbing anyone else. I am willing to bet that most of the smokers on campus would be willing to comply with that rule. I think designated areas would be a fair compromise.

I respect Senator Murphy’s intentions to make CCSU, like other colleges in Connecticut, tobacco-free, but he should also understand that people should have the choice to smoke if they choose. I understand that secondhand smoke can be as bad as smoking itself, which is why I would suggest CCSU to set up designated smoking areas.

Smoking can be curbed by other methods, but this effort to eradicate tobacco all together on college campuses seems excessive.

3 Comments

  1. harleyrider1778 April 9, 2014

    About 90% of secondary smoke is composed of water vapor and ordinary air with a minor amount of carbon dioxide. The volume of water vapor of second hand smoke becomes even larger as it quickly disperses into the air,depending upon the humidity factors within a set location indoors or outdoors. Exhaled smoke from a smoker will provide 20% more water vapor to the smoke as it exists the smokers mouth.

    4 % is carbon monoxide.

    6 % is those supposed 4,000 chemicals to be found in tobacco smoke. Unfortunatley for the smoke free advocates these supposed chemicals are more theorized than actually found.What is found is so small to even call them threats to humans is beyond belief.Nanograms,picograms and femptograms……
    (1989 Report of the Surgeon General p. 80).

  2. harleyrider1778 April 9, 2014

    This pretty well destroys the Myth of second hand smoke:

    Lungs from pack-a-day smokers safe for transplant, study finds.

    By JoNel Aleccia, Staff Writer, NBC News.

    Using lung transplants from heavy smokers may sound like a cruel joke, but a new study finds that organs taken from people who puffed a pack a day for more than 20 years are likely safe.

    What’s more, the analysis of lung transplant data from the U.S. between 2005 and 2011 confirms what transplant experts say they already know: For some patients on a crowded organ waiting list, lungs from smokers are better than none.

    Ive done the math here and this is how it works out with second ahnd smoke and people inhaling it!

    The 16 cities study conducted by the U.S. DEPT OF ENERGY and later by Oakridge National laboratories discovered:

    Cigarette smoke, bartenders annual exposure to smoke rises, at most, to the equivalent of 6 cigarettes/year.

    146,000 CIGARETTES SMOKED IN 20 YEARS AT 1 PACK A DAY.

    A bartender would have to work in second hand smoke for 2433 years to get an equivalent dose.

    Then the average non-smoker in a ventilated restaurant for an hour would have to go back and forth each day for 119,000 years to get an equivalent 20 years of smoking a pack a day! Pretty well impossible ehh!

  3. harleyrider1778 April 9, 2014

    Colleges being forced to go smokefree by Obama Administration

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced an initiative to ban smoking from college campuses last month. This is part of the HHS goal to create a society free of tobacco-related disease and death, according to their action plan released by the HHS in 2010.

    Colleges who fail to enact campus-wide smoking bans and other tobacco-free policies may soon face the loss of grants and contracts from the HHS, according to the plan. Western receives grants through a subdivision of the HHS called the National Institutes of Health, Acting Vice Provost for Research Kathleen Kitto said.

    Obama administration to push for eliminating smoking on college campuses

    President Barack Obama has already promised not to smoke cigarettes in the White House. If his administration has its way, American college students will soon be required to follow suit while they’re on campus.

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