A tobacco-free campus

A smoking ban on campus is not unnecessary. I am a Minnesota Daily fan. I read it most days and I am generally impressed with the work being done by the editorial staff.

I disagree with the opinion piece about the enforceability of a smoking ban and the lack of harm done by secondhand smoke, but I am more disappointed in the lack of effort put into the opinion piece.

Hundreds of campuses have implemented a policy like this with few problems, many of them very large institutions including Indiana, Michigan and Iowa of the Big Ten schools, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, just to name few large campuses.

As of September 2012, the City University of New York âÄî the largest urban university in the U.S. âÄî plus 23 additional New York campuses will be smoke free.

Harmless little whiff of tobacco smoke is not a big deal? Take a look at the Surgeon GeneralâÄôs report. Any exposure to second hand smoke is harmful. Use that same line when you are talking to the person who lost a lung to lung cancer and can have no exposure to secondhand smoke, or someone who has had a heart attack and any exposure puts them in harmâÄôs way or talk to the runner just trying to keep healthy who does not want to be exposed to secondhand smoke.

I believe we should be tolerant of others, but not when they are doing harm. A smoking ban is an inclusive policy. A ban would allow everyone to enjoy the mall on a fall day, or a nice walk across the Washington Avenue Bridge without having to be exposed to the harms of secondhand smoke.

A survey conducted by Boynton Health Service in 2010 indicates that the most common place where our students are exposed to secondhand smoke is on campus. ThatâÄôs embarrassing, given the work that has been pioneered here at the University of Minnesota in the areas of the heart disease and cancer prevention.

In 1991, when the buildings on campus became smoke free the same arguments were expressed about harm and enforcement. Both proved to be false.

ItâÄôs time to create a clean, healthy and welcoming environment for everyone.