Should SMU go smoke free?

Every now and then when you’re walking across campus your senses are suddenly overwhelmed by the smell of cigarette smoke. It comes as a shock to most people, since the negative health effects of smoking are common knowledge in 2015. Despite that, sprinkled across campus, are pockets of students who still smoke cigarettes.

A study by Harvard School of Public Health shows that the percentage of college students who smoke has risen over the past decade. In 1993, 22 percent of college students in the United States smoked. Now that statistic has risen to 33 percent.

Lots of college students claim that they only smoke socially. Others say they smoke to relax or control their stress levels. Women often say that they smoke to help control their weight, since nicotine works as an appetite suppressant. Despite these reasons, smoking cigarettes has detrimental effects on a person’s health.

Smoking cigarettes is the single largest preventable cause of death in the United States. Smoking greatly increases your chance of lung and esophageal cancers. The chances of developing heart disease, reproductive issues, stroke and diabetes all increases if you smoke. More than 480,000 Americans die every year from smoking.

Hundreds of schools across the U.S. are taking a stand against their students using tobacco. There are over 1,000 universities and colleges that are now tobacco free and over 1,500 that are smoke free in the United States. Auburn University, Baylor University, and UCLA are all schools that have pledged to be smoke-free campuses.

All over the world governments are implementing bans and restrictions on smoking in public spaces. Dallas has implemented a smoking ordinance that prohibits smoking in retail establishments and restaurants and city owned and operated facilities.

If you are interested in quitting smoking visit smokefree.gov for more information and tips on how to quit. If you are interested in working to make SMU a smoke free campus, visit tobaccofreecampus.org.

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