Smokers need a place to smoke, and a smoking area traditionally serves to provide them with such a place. Smoking area placement is often determined by city law, but traditionally requires that smokers be a certain distance from entrances or exits and dispose of their butts properly. Whether or not to have a smoking area on school grounds is a hotly debated issue, with a few disadvantages rising to the surface like the second-hand smoke, the fact that it could encourage underage smoking, and all the health risks for the smokers.
Second-hand smoke refers to pollution generated by smokers that is then inhaled by other, non-smoking individuals. Because so many smokers are crowded into one small area, the second-hand smoke concentration can be quite high in that specific zone. This creates a health hazard for any non-smoking person who has to pass by that area to get from one class to another. Second-hand smoke has been linked to a number of health problems, including throat and lung cancer.
If the school is considering adding a smoking area to the campus, the possibility of that area being exploited by underage smokers must be addressed. Though many of the senior-year students will be old enough to smoke legally, there is always a chance that cigarettes, if allowed on campus, will find their way into the hands of a minor. Smoking areas on high school campuses will need a detailed strategy for avoiding this problem.
There are a wide range of health problems caused by smoking. Lung cancer, throat cancer, emphysema and other medical problems can often be traced back to smoking habits. When you provide a designated smoking area on your school campus, you are effectively encouraging the habits of these smokers. If smoking were not allowed on campus, it makes sense that smokers would smoke fewer cigarettes throughout the day. Encouraging smokers to smoke is one side-effect of a smoking area.
Adding a designated smoking area is likely an expensive proposition...
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