Campuses nationwide are adopting smoke-and tobacco-free policies
By Jimmy Dyer
Students headed back this fall to universities in Metro Detroit were greeted to some major policy changes on campus. In recent months, both Wayne State University and Eastern Michigan University have become smoke free campuses prohibiting smoking (including e-cigarettes and “vaping”) as well as the use of all tobacco products within and outside of all buildings or structures owned, leased, rented, or operated by the colleges. The ban went into effect at Eastern on July 1 and at Wayne State on Aug. 19.
According to media.wayne.edu on July 23, WSU’s president, M. Roy Wilson, said, “Wayne State is committed to the health and well-being of students, faculty, staff, alumni and visitors. Going smoke- and tobacco-free is a logical step toward ensuring a healthy, clean and welcoming campus.”
There is controversy and opposition from many though, including non-smokers.
Schoolcraft freshman Aaron Pelachyk said, “I really don’t believe that smoking does much to those who aren’t involved. It has never seemed to bother me or anyone I know.”
Although the negative effects of smoking can go unnoticed for long periods of time, it is becoming more and more evident of how detrimental smoking is according to scientific research. Compared to life in the 1970s, many smoked and did not know of the harmful effects to those inhaling the smoke. Now, research is proving that secondhand inhalation can cause negative health issues as well as direct inhalation.
The Center For Disease and Control’s states secondhand smoking can cause asthma attacks, respiratory infections, ear infections and sudden infant death syndrome.
“As of July 1, there are at least 1,577 100 percent smoke-free campuses. Of these, 1,079 are 100 percent tobacco-free, and 710 prohibit the use of e-cigarettes anywhere on campus,” said the Americans for Nonsmokers Rights program on Aug. 21.
In Michigan alone, there are already 30 smoke free college campuses.
Although smoke-free campuses will bring about a new sense of cleanliness to universities nationwide, it creates a hassle for student, staff and faculty smokers who will have to go off to smoke either inside their car or off of school grounds then return to campus to work or study.
After Michigan’s law banning smoking in public areas on May 1 of 2010, college students may have seen this transition on campuses coming. One step at a time, whether smokers like it or not, regulations are being passed across the state, nation and globe to better the health and wellbeing of everyone.