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A Smoke-Free Tertiary Education Environment


What we learn from formal education goes beyond letter grades, grade point average, or any kind of testing scores. After we graduate from whatever level of formal education, we probably bring with us the habits, routines, and rituals that we have picked up from school.

Therein lies the significance in the ban on smoking, to make Oregon colleges and universities smoke free zones.

It is perhaps harsh on those who smoke, seeing that in a small more than twelve months from now, smokers, be they student, faculty, or staff, will have to leave campus in order to smoke. That’s a lot of hassle for the right to light up. But colleges are banning on-campus smoking because they recognize the dangers not only of smoking, but of second-hand smoke as well.

The harmfulness of second-hand smoke is well documented. MedlinePlus has this article to inform consumers about the dangers of second-hand smoke.

The smoking ban on campus not only promotes better health, better habits, better air quality, but it also sends an unmistakable point to smokers and non-smokers alike: that smoking carries a very high cost in terms of money spent on cigarettes and money spent to treat illnesses linked to smoking.  Apart from money, there is the cost of time and effort, just to keep up the addiction that does nothing more than fill the coffers of cigarette companies.

The American Council On Science and Health had this to say about nicotine addiction.

Although a ban on college and university campuses makes a excellent deal of sense as a measure to discourage smoking, it is alarming in the fact that years ago, the state of Oregon banned smokers from public buildings, restaurants and some parks. Yet it is only now that the ban effects smokers who are college students, faculty and staff.

Such a ban in college brings up the significant question: where else do smokers light up that they really shouldn’t so that those who don’t smoke won’t have to place up with second and third-hand smoke? In truth, is there any acceptable place for a smoker to light up?

Even in the privacy of one’s own home or rental apartment, doesn’t air vents make it so that the smoke simply isn’t contained? Of course, a free-standing house will not be sharing air-vents with another house, but then, not everyone lives in a house surrounded by turf. What if there is an infant, an elderly convalescent, or a person who suffers from asthma living on the same premise?

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