Tobacco has played an important role in America from the beginning. It was grown as a cash crop by the Jamestown settlers in 1612, but over the years the popular opinion has changed about tobacco. Tobacco is used to make cigarettes, which have been extremely popular, now known to be extremely dangerous. Even the warnings on the cigarette box have changed to a statement much more alarming. In the 1960s, the warning on the box was “Caution: Cigarette Smoking May be Hazardous to Your Health.” Now, the warning is a bigger deterrent, “SURGEON GENERAL WARNING: Smoking Kills.” So, how has the world responded to prevent cigarette smoking in future generation?
Last Month, University of Illinois’ chancellor, Phyllis Wise, recently announced a ban on smoking starting November 2013. This is sure to cause much unrest with the many smokers that go to school on University of Illinois’ Champaign-Urbana campus. The ban on smoking was brought about due to a non-binding referendum last November, in which students voted more than 2-to-1 in favor of a smoke-free campus. Chancellor Wise saw that there was huge support for a smoking ban so she made sure to act upon it in order to clean up campus. Chancellor Wise views smoking as a hindrance to our university, “It’s more about changing the campus culture and adhering to the principles we hold here. There is incontrovertible evidence that smoking is a dangerous addiction- and that secondhand smoke affects everyone-so we’d like to not promote it on our campus1.” This led me to my questions: How has cigarette knowledge changed over the years to bring about this change and how will this and other bans change the future of cigarette smoking?