Smoking Bans Coming to a Campus Near You
Approximately 711 campuses have smoking bans. Should they be allowed?
By Kathryn Knight Randolph
June 29, 2012
Are you a smoker? If so, when did you start? According to the surgeon general’s report for 2012, 90% of smokers started by age 18, and 99% by age 26, and currently, anywhere from a third to a quarter of college students fall into that category.
Now, colleges and universities across the country are taking action to help prevent the “epidemic proportions” of young adults taking up the bad habit, according to The Washington Post. In fact, it’s presumed that nearly half of all colleges in the U.S. have either banned smoking on campus or are currently working on enacting a ban.
But these bans don’t just limit indoor smoking. They stretch all over campus, meaning students who smoke would be forced to go off campus in order to light up.
The Washington Post reports that schools are taking such aggressive action now because of the effects of secondhand smoke, the reduced cost of smoke-free dorms and and to simply behavior, which would “minimize enticements to smoke at a critical age for forming lifelong habits.”
Naturally, students who smoke are adamantly opposed to campus wide smoking bans. The founder of the New York Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment, Audrey Silk, told The Washington Post that, “This isn’t a health issue anymore. It’s a moral issue. There’s absolutely zero reason for a smoking ban outdoors. They use it as a tool. Harm from smoke outdoors is an excuse to frustrate smokers into quitting because they can’t find a place to light up.”
According to The Washington Post, though, colleges aren’t slowing down on campus wide smoking bans. In fact, California is reported to enact smoking bans on all public campuses in 2013, and the state of Ohio is currently considering a ban on all state colleges as well.
Do you think colleges and universities have the right to make campuses entirely smoke free?