READ: President Wilson Bradshaw announces plans to make FGCU tobacco/smoke-free
With coronary artery disease as the No.1 killer in the United States, wouldn’t it be fair to say that sugar is deadlier than tobacco? I find it interesting that a school that receives major donations from Big Sugar -— U.S. Sugar, the country’s largest producer of sugar cane that operates out of Clewiston — would consider banning tobacco from its campus.
Every measure of sugary beverage and ice cream is available in our school, regardless of the fact that obesity and heart disease is in fact our biggest risk. Not only does sugar harm the student body and population in general, sugar companies like Alico Inc. have been accused of being some of the largest polluters in Southwest Florida.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not trying to bash sugar or Alico Inc. I personally couldn’t live without my sugary drinks, and I certainly don’t want to know what Southwest Florida and Florida Gulf Coast University would look like without Alico’s local investments and community projects.
What I am saying is it is absolutely hypocritical of the school administration to ban a substance based upon its health risks while accepting large funding from industries that are no less harmful to the human body. Although I am not a smoker, I don’t believe its right to restrict students that wish to smoke to off-campus locations.
Not only do I believe it is hypocritical, I believe it will be almost impossible to enforce. I see many wishing to propose a smoking ban because smokers may wander outside the designated smoking areas with a lit butt. If you can’t keep the smokers in a designated area, what makes you think you can stop them from smoking completely? It’s implausible to think that students spending a full day on campus who have a nicotine habit will wait until the end of the day to light up.
As far as enforcement of the policy? I believe the FGCU police may have more to deal with than the occasional secondhand smoke violation. If campus police can’t remove an open-air preacher, I find it unrealistic that they would show up to campus to bust those pesky cigarette offenders.
It is ironic that although there have been pushes to ban tobacco, there has never been a big push for banning overly sugary drinks or to offer healthier dining options like at many other schools around the country.