Have you ever been in the situation when you took a shower and freshened up for a new day, but were offended and felt unpleasant by the smell of cigarette? You would not be feeling that soon. The University of California is banning the cigarettes and all tobacco products from its campus over the next two years. Students and staffs would not be able to smoke anywhere on a UC campus. Main purpose of this policy is to reduce exposure of second-hand smoke. Through this policy, UC is hoping that the percentage of students and staff smoking to be reduced. This policy is pretty reasonable and it sure need to be practiced, since everyone knows that smoking and second-hand smoke are bad and cause critical effect on health such as a lung cancer.
According to a UC Office of the President report, “only 7.9 percent of UC students had smoked within 30 days of a 2010 study compared to 16 percent of college students nationwide.” It means majority of UC students are non-smoker. Non-smokers are exposed to second-hand smoke in public area such as campus. It can be easily seen students and staff smoking in front of classes or library. It is totally understandable that smokers have to smoke regularly. Smokers have right to smoke, but smokers cannot harm non-smoker. Just like smoker has a right to smoke, I think the non-smoker also has a right to be refrained from smoke. In front of classes and entrance of library are places that has highest traffic in campus. Library and most of classes have only one entrance. If one smoker light up on these highly trafficked places where many students passes by. Non-smokers are indiscriminately breath in smoke whether they want or not. It takes away non-smoker’s right to be refrained from smoke. Government banned smoking in public areas such as restaurant and bars and to smokers, this school banning smoking on campus looks similar with what government did. I think school banning smoking just like government banned smoking in public areas sounds reasonable, because campus is also a crowded place like restaurants, and bars and if one smoker lights up a cigarette, it can affect numerous non-smokers. This new policy will minimize exposure to second-hand smoke. This new policy can be looked as a sudden change and unfairness for the existing smokers. Building a designated smoking area seems like an agreeable and reasonable proposal for smokers. However, UC Berkeley already have tried making designated smoking areas for smokers, but this didn’t work out well. Only few of smokers used designated smoking areas, and most of smoker still lighted up a cigarette everywhere in campus. Health experts said that this designated smoking area is not strict enough. First, Toxins concentrations are extremely high in this designated smoking areas. It makes more dangerous for the smokers and for the people who clean this spaces. Due to infiltration, these toxins spread beyond the smoking areas and affecting non-smokers. California cut college budget and This is the last and final decision. I think UC have been considered and tried enough for smokers. It is an inevitable movement and shift to tobacco-free. Building and managing designated smoking areas will cost money. University’s tuition is already high enough and UC is suffering from budget cut. There are courses have been cancelled and because of that number of courses are insufficient. There is no more money to spend to build a designated smoking areas. It also takes money to hire person to clean and manage these designated smoking areas. Cigarette butts that are not naturally discomposed are 1/3 of California’s thrown trash. I can easily find cigarette butts on campus ground and it seems like cigarette butts are all over the places on campus. First it doesn’t look good and it feels unpleasant to have cigarette butts all over. It lowers our quality of life. Smoking also causes an environmental problem. Cigarette butts once it gets wet, it breaks down and go into the ground and pollute soil, water and plants. Also smoke of cigarette is a poison and pollute air. Cigarette smoke will pollute the air. If Smokers just throw away their cigarette on the ground and once it gets wet cigarette butts breaks down into little pieces. These are small and hard to clean up. If school bans smoking on campus, we do not have to worry about this and our campus would be much cleaner. A new study in 192 countries found that second-hand smoking results more than 600,000 death a year.(“Deaths”) The law permits that over 18 years old person for smoking. College student is old enough to be responsible for the consequences of decision they made to smoke. It is okay for them to smoke as long as smoker does not harm non-smokers, but this has not been kept on campus properly. Especially college campus is place where people are often crowded. If a person lights up a cigarette, it is affecting numerous students. Everyone knows that cigarette contains numerous and hazardous chemicals which is the leading cause of preventable death. UC has a right to protect non-smoking students; therefore, UC needs to ban smoking on campus. Through this new policy, this health issue with smoking and second-hand smoking can be prevented. There are several studies that show limiting smoking areas, will reduce people to quit. Most of smokers know smoking is bad for their health and many of them want to quit. Unfortunately, it is hard to quit because of its addictiveness. Also when there are smokers around, it is even harder to quit smoking. I started to smoke about five years ago. I also know that smoking is bad for my health. I wanted to quit smoking and I actually tried quitting several times, but I failed to quit. Main reason was that most of my friends smoke and especially when they smoke in front of me, it was really hard to endure and most likely failed to quit. So I think that his upcoming policy is beneficial for both smokers and non-smokers. Smokers get a chance to quit smoking and non-smokers would not have to worry about second-hand smoke. Also School will create programs and provide aids to help them to quit. Colleen Stevens, Chief of the tobacco control branch of the California Public Health Department. "In other states, most young people start smoking in their teens, but in California, that start date is getting older. This policy will help protect the next generation from suffering the horrible impacts of tobacco." There was time when smoking looked cool and manly. This was reason for people to start. When students come to college, they get old enough to smoke. Series of movie “American pie” show that when people get into the college, they have to try new stuff such as smoke, drink and party. In fact, many students are free from their parents’ surveillance and get chance to do these things. If school ban smoking on campus, student are less likely to start smoking in college. Also at the same time, start date of smoking can become older than now.
Nowadays, people seem to care about their health more than before. People started to care about staying in “well-being” and they started to eat “well-being” foods. It’s seems like smoking becomes less acceptable in our society. Smoking causes health issue, environmental issue and it takes away non-smoker’s right. I UC campus have tried many things and I think that new policy is not for taking away smoker’s right but UC is concerning about both smoker’s and non-smoker’s health. I think all these efforts UC is making is to minimize second-hand smoke and UC is trying to make students to smoke less. I think this policy is both beneficial to both smokers and non-smokers.
"Deaths from Secondhand Smoke." MCT Photos. McClatchy-Tribune Information Services, 2010. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 23 Jan. 2013. Ferber, Dan. "Research on secondhand smoke questioned." Science 306.5700 (2004): 1274. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 23 Jan. 2013. Brownstein, Ronald. "The Tobacco Paradox." National Journal (2009). Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 24 Jan. 2013. Erin Allday, “UC system banning smoking from all campuses” San Francisco chronicle Friday, January 13, 2012