Smoking ban: Valid or Infringement?

Smoking

Bring in the change for better health and air

Change is coming in 2014. Like wildfire that spreads faster than cancer cells, this will be the year that many CSU campuses plan to take a step in the right direction and ban all tobacco products on campus.

California State University Fullerton (CSUF) was the first CSU to ban all tobacco products. The CSU system is not the only institution adopting this policy. Starting Jan. 1, 2014 all University of California (UC) schools officially banned the use of tobacco products. According to the American Nonsmokers Rights’ Foundation, at least 1,182 campuses in the U.S. have a smoke-free campus policy.

According to an online survey polled by and for the CSUN community, 75.4 percent of participants said that CSUN should become a smoke-free campus. In addition, 56.9 percent said that the ban should include all types of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and pipes.

Choosing not to smoke has no effect on others and on personal health. On the other hand, smoking, even if only done in designated areas, will always negatively affect those around you and your environment.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), found that tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and disease. The CDC also reported that smoking greatly increases the chance of heart disease, stroke and lung cancer. In perspective, one in five deaths (440,000 annually) are caused by smoking cigarettes.

The CDC also found that tobacco use affects almost every organ in the body and is the leading cause of cancer. If every smoker quit today, one in every three deaths caused by cancer would not happen.

If banning tobacco products for the health of smokers just doesn’t cut it, then they should think about the health of others. The CDC finds that second-hand smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals. Hundreds of these chemicals are toxic with 70 proven to cause cancer. In America about 3,000 adults die every year from lung cancer and about 46,000 die from heart disease caused by second-hand smoke.

By stopping the use of tobacco on our campus, we would be assisting those that struggle with addiction as well as preventing others from becoming addicted.

The majority of smokers evolve from occasional smokers to habitual smokers between the ages of 18 and 21. If you haven’t become a regular smoker by 18, the chances of becoming a habitual smoker diminishes dramatically with every passing year.

The anti-tobacco organization, 21 reasons, reported that 95 percent of smokers begin smoking before the age of 21, commonly due to their frequent exposure to other smokers. It has been proven that if there are fewer places for people to smoke, smokers are more likely to decrease and eliminate their smoking habits.

Tobacco does not just harm our health, but it also affects the environment and the presentation of our campus. Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world and tobacco products as a whole make up 38 percent of America’s litter.

Cigarettes and other tobacco products add to air pollution, harm marine life by polluting lakes and oceans and contribute to forest fires. Cigarette butts are not biodegradable and take over ten years to break down.

Banning tobacco products on campus is crucial if we want to make an effort to improve our campus and our health. Whether you are willfully exposed to tobacco products or it has pervaded your daily routine, your health is at stake and you have a right to clean air.

Rethinking the Smoking Ban

The freedom to choose is an American value that is often taken for granted. People choose to spend more money when they are in debt and to eat junk food when they have high cholesterol. And they can choose to smoke despite the risk of lung cancer.

Banning tobacco products on college campuses is becoming a trend. On Aug. 1, California State University Fullerton (CSUF) implemented a ban on tobacco products, becoming the first CSU to become tobacco-free.

While some universities aren’t considering this route, others plan to take on the role of parents, placing the private health choices of students into their own hands.

However, these hand-holding policies create a greater social stigma against smokers and encourage a generation of adults that are unable to make decisions confidently. Assuming personal responsibility for the negative choices is part of being an adult.

Collegiate life emphasizes personal growth and a student can’t flourish if they’re not permitted control of their own health decisions. Decisions that should be undeniably intrinsic to the individual.

Although I accept that this ban, as it justifiably considers the well-being of the campus community, it is nonetheless an infringement on the personal rights of students.

Institutions shouldn’t meddle in personal affairs every time a poor decision is made. Yes, the intentions of this policy can bring about positive changes.

However, it will not get to the root of the problem. From a historical perspective, banning addictive substances have not worked. Prohibition during the 1920s proved that banning alcohol actually caused more harm than good. Underground bars, known as speakeasies, popped up everywhere. Alcohol became the golden item to smuggle and sell illegally.

An alternative to banning smoking can be to offer smoking cessation programs to help smokers cut their addiction. Such a program should be encouraged by schools instead of allowing law enforcement to fervently fine or report any student who lights a cigarette on campus.

If the aim of the smoking ban is to promote healthier lifestyles, then electronic cigarettes, which help smokers kick their habit, should have a legal status on campus. However, a product that makes it easier for people to quit smoking is also under scrutiny despite the lack of evidence in regards to potential health risks e-cigarettes pose.

Enforcing campus smoking zones would allow students to keep their rights while protecting others from harmful second-hand smoke. Clearing the campus of smokers merely shifts them to another area and possibly a more hazardous locations.

In her controversial book Social Studies author and avid smoker, Fran Lebowitz, comically but honestly explains how being offended is the natural consequence of leaving one’s home.

“When it is necessary, however, to go out of the house, they must be prepared, as I am, to deal with the unpleasant personal habits of others,” Lebowitz said. “That is what ‘public’ means.”

As smoking advertisements are gradually eliminated, cigarette prices continue to rise and anti-smoking campaigns are gaining momentum, smokers are huddled in a designated smoking corner. It is clear that people are aware of the dangers of smoking. Tobacco products should be discouraged but in the end, a direct infringement on people’s rights isn’t the proper approach.

  • David the small-L libertarian

    I get it: People don’t like to breathe others’ cigarette smoke. That’s no reason to ban it everywhere, like out in campus parking lots or vast, open spaces. I see few problems with the way it is now. The anti-smoking zealots will never stop until smoking is made illegal… Everywhere… and when marijuana is available on every corner.

  • John Davidson

    This pretty well destroys the Myth of second hand smoke:

    http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/28/16741714-lungs-from-pack-a-day-smokers-safe-for-transplant-study-finds?lite

    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.

    “I think people are grateful just to have a shot at getting lungs,” said Dr. Sharven Taghavi, a cardiovascular surgical resident at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, who led the new study………………………

    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!

  • John Davidson

    Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence: Third Edition

    nap.edu

    This sorta says it all

    These limits generally are based on assessments of health risk and calculations of concentrations that are associated with what the regulators believe to be negligibly small risks. The calculations are made after first identifying the total dose of a chemical that is safe (poses a negligible risk) and then determining the concentration of that chemical in the medium of concern that should not be exceeded if exposed individuals (typically those at the high end of media contact) are not to incur a dose greater than the safe one.

    So OSHA standards are what is the guideline for what is acceptable ”SAFE LEVELS”

    OSHA SAFE LEVELS

    All this is in a small sealed room 9×20 and must occur in ONE HOUR.

    For Benzo[a]pyrene, 222,000 cigarettes.

    “For Acetone, 118,000 cigarettes.

    “Toluene would require 50,000 packs of simultaneously smoldering cigarettes.

    Acetaldehyde or Hydrazine, more than 14,000 smokers would need to light up.

    “For Hydroquinone, “only” 1250 cigarettes.

    For arsenic 2 million 500,000 smokers at one time.

    The same number of cigarettes required for the other so called chemicals in shs/ets will have the same outcomes.

    So, OSHA finally makes a statement on shs/ets :

    Field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that under normal conditions, the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELS.) as referenced in the Air Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000)…It would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded.” -Letter From Greg Watchman, Acting Sec’y, OSHA.

    Why are their any smoking bans at all they have absolutely no validity to the courts or to science!

  • John Davidson

    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.

    http://www.westernfrontonline.net/news/article_f8068f12-0efe-11e2-8b41-001a4bcf6878.html?success=1

    Obama administration to push for eliminating smoking on college campuses

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/09/11/obama … z29zJ2V2TV

    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.

    Howard Koh, assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will announce a national initiative Wednesday at the University of Michigan School of Public Health to stamp out tobacco use on college campuses.