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Tobacco/smoke-free campus a step in the right direction

READ: Administration creates committee to eliminate tobacco products on campus by 2016

You’re on your way to class with your morning coffee in your right hand, new perfume and freshly cut grass around you. The aromas are pleasant and welcoming. As you are walking on campus and pass Reed Hall, suddenly these aromas are replaced with the thick smoke of a Camel cigarette.

What’s that sound? That is not a tuberculosis patient. That is your peer, or you, being affected by second hand smoke.

If at some point in your life you decide that you are A-OK with smoking, that’s your business. Don’t make those decisions for others. Second hand smoke kills an estimated 35,000 nonsmokers each and every year.

On campus there are designated areas for people to smoke, but how many times have you seen someone smoking elsewhere? Second-hand smoke can travel up to 20 feet. While designated smoking areas seem like a good idea, they are ineffective. Anyone within 20 feet will be forced to inhale toxins and damage their lungs.

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Eliminating smoking from campus is not a new idea. According to, as of Jan. 1, 2015, there are at least 1,514 smoke-free campuses. These campuses have taken precautions to protect the health and welfare of their students from the toxic and lethal chemicals.

This university would be irresponsible to not take similar precautions. Making a campus smoke-free would not only lower the damage down to non-smokers but also to smokers. If you cannot smoke on campus, you are likely to smoke less. This is just common sense.

There is no cost for this movement — no loss. It is free to protect students, so why not? Students are adults and make adult decisions. Some make the adult decision to hand over their organs to tobacco companies, and some do not. Not every adult should suffer due to some adult’s choice.

As the percentage of smokers decreases, so should the percentage of second hand smokers. It is appreciated by the student body when the school takes action with the best interest of the student body in mind.

People will always break rules, and people will probably always smoke, but let’s not let that minority’s decisions affect our lifelong health.

OPPOSING OPINION: New campus anti-smoking policy is just a PR move

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