Ban smoking on campus

Smoking is a danger to the health of students, staff and faculty at the U.

Brooke Ahlers

The University of Minnesota is constantly changing, growing and incorporating new strategies for campus improvement. Therefore, I believe the University should implement a smoking ban on the Twin Cities campus effective for the 2011-12 school year.
This issue has been brought up in the past and needs to be considered again. Students and faculty are confronted with smells from cigarette residue, sometimes because people do not stay 25 feet away from entryways when they smoke and sometimes while they are walking around campus.
This problem not only pollutes the air but also our lungs and the sidewalks. According to the National Cancer Institute, there are more than 7,000 chemicals in secondhand smoke. Over extended periods of time, they can contribute to health problems. Chances are you know somebody who has asthma, and secondhand smoke could cause an attack for a severe sufferer.
According to ForbesâÄô rankings from 2010, Minnesota is the sixth healthiest state, and Minneapolis-St. Paul is the 16th healthiest area in the nation. If we want to maintain our record of good health, a smoking ban on campus is crucial.
The University of Minnesota-Duluth has already implemented a smoke-free campus and so have many other states and campuses (including those who have lower health rankings than our area). We shouldnâÄôt fall behind other schools on the issue of public health.
There are many ways to integrate and enforce this potential new policy successfully. Nonsmoking areas could be introduced slowly, along with cessation programs for those who choose to quit. Fines could be issued to violators of the policy, which would increase the UniversityâÄôs revenue. Those are only two suggestions in a myriad of options.
This new policy wouldnâÄôt be oppression to existing smokers but protection for those who donâÄôt want to be exposed to the harmful chemicals in cigarettes.
Brooke Ahlers, University student