Many of us choose not to smoke.† However, there are some people on campus who do. If you are a smoker, obey the law. In Ohio, smoking tobacco in any public place is prohibited. In addition, the law prohibits tobacco smoke to enter buildings by any means.
The 2006 statewide ban on tobacco smoke was put into effect to improve the lives of non-smokers. In 2006 the Surgeon General stated, “…there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS). While SHS may not appear to pose problems for some people in the short term, long-term exposure can lead to major health concerns. Other individuals may have immediate severe reactions to SHS.”
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center stated that smoking and SHS cause over 430,000 preventable deaths each year and cigarettes and cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 harmful ingredients, many of which cause cancer. Moreover, cigarette smoking and SHS cause shortness of breath, decreased energy, bone loss, damage to blood vessels, different cancers, high blood pressure, digestive disorders, diabetes complications, chronic lung diseases, heart disease, and poor circulation.
When passing by or entering many campus buildings, especially Lowry Center and dormitories, I am frequently greeted by tobacco smoke. I will be frank ó I have no sympathy if one chooses to smoke.† Nor do I care if it is freezing outside.† Please stay at least 25 feet away from the buildings. It is the law and a simple courtesy to the nonsmokers who have the right to breathe smoke-free air. I am not trying to be unreasonable, especially since it is personal choice, but some people are extremely sensitive to second-hand smoke. So be informed, conscientious, and considerate of what you do because your choice impacts yourself, others, and the environment. Smoking is a privilege, not a right.
Heather DeMali ’11