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Some 10 years ago, Ozarks Technical Community College became the first higher education establishment to ban smoking even outdoors.Since then, several hundred more universities and community colleges, especially in the South and Midwest, have followed suit.2 – Increased risk of harm to students and other members of the university community.
I can’t help but think that this is because they have more common sense than the rest of us: it’s only a matter of time before this “smoke-free campus” movement gets a student assaulted, raped or killed. I shouldn’t think so, given that the sequence of events is perfectly foreseeable, and quite likely, in the aggregate.
Here's why: Some 20 percent of university students smoke.
I find this, along with other aspects of the latest temperance movement, intensely depressing.
I respect the new president at my university and think he does a good job in general (rare praise from a faculty member, I know), so I sent him a letter outlining some of my concerns with a complete outdoor ban on smoking.
Finally, the nicotine which is found in cigarettes is highly addictive.
Other addictive substances such as cocaine and heroin are illegal. Thus, in summary, smoking causes numerous illnesses which are expensive to treat.Cigarette smoking causes a number of health problems which are expensive to treat.It is a major cause of respiratory diseases such as asthma, lung cancer and bronchitis. In spite of the money which the Government receives from taxing cigarettes, the cost of medical treatment for these diseases exceeds this income.If just half of these 4000 students who smoke have access to a car and use it to leave campus just once more a week for lunch or a break (as a result of the ban), this equals two thousand extra car trips a week around the university.Unlike tobacco outdoors, vehicle exhaust does pose a significant health risk to others, and the extra traffic (some 60,000 extra car trips an academic year as a conservative estimate) will increase the university’s carbon footprint accordingly.In the case of differently abled students and those with reduced mobility, pushing them off campus seems a particularly hard to justify and even cruel approach. If avoidance strategies of people addicted to tobacco are half as strong as tobacco researchers say they are, student enrollment will suffer as a result of the complete outdoor smoking ban.Particularly students in the arts and international students from countries such as China, which have higher smoking rates, have many choices and may look elsewhere for their education.On big campuses like mine (over 20,000 students), many of these make the university residences their home.At some late-night hour after my university implements its intended ban, a student will want to go out for a smoke.As a consequence, non smoking taxpayers are forced to pay for the health costs of smokers. Another reason for banning smoking is that cigarette smoke affects the health of non-smokers and unborn babies.Non-smokers soften suffer from eye and nose irritations, allergies and headaches as a result of inhaling second-hand smoke.