100% smoke-free campus at south-eastern Louisiana University

Introduction:

Tobacco death toll across the world is approximated at 30% of all cancer deaths and studies reveal that smoking is on the rise among college students and the age group prone to this lethal addiction is students between 18 and 24. The paper aims to trace the background of this addictive behavior and propose solution in the thesis. The discussion is done on a research-based rationale to arrive upon a feasible solution.

Discussion:

According to Louisiana BRFSS survey conducted in 2007, the smoking frequency among the student groups aged 18 and 24 is 26.1% which is higher than the overall adult frequency rate which is 22.6%. Among the fresh smokers in students, nearly half of them progress from casual smoking to regular smoking; from there to daily smoking and then to an addictive behavior.

“In Louisiana 6,600 children become new daily smokers each year and they smoke 14.8 million packs of cigarettes each year. 90% of adult smokers begin while in their teens or earlier with two-thirds becoming regular smokers before they reach the age of 19. In Louisiana alone, the tobacco industry spends more than $291.5 million on marketing annually. 23.9% of Louisiana adults smoke and 25% of high school students in Louisiana smoke making the state put some $1.15 billion annually in direct medical expenditures and raising the cost of health insurance for everyone” (“http://www.tobacofreeliving.org” 1).

Smoking ban has been an increasingly popular fad among universities but often the rules remain good only on paper while the students are free to smoke away their hours inside the campus. Relaxation on smoking like to be 25 feet away from the campus building, to smoke only at permitted zones, to keep the affair away from public in-campus areas which would encourage second hand smoking disorders are all mere regulations which are not practical and functional.

But, at the same time forcing a rule of total ban of tobacco from the campus can cause adverse effects as well. Within the campus, earlier this month, the Student Government Association passed a policy against smoking, which states a complete ban of tobacco within the campus. This was not well received among the students. On March 16, 2010, some 25 Louisiana State University students protested against a policy which was aimed at eradicating smoking from the campus. They voiced that the smokers within the campus should take a proactive stand against this harsh policy that questioned an individual’s right to freedom and expression.

“Student Jacob Carscadden, who wrote the measure that passed in the student organization, said the current policy is not enforce. “ It makes LSUS look bad, the campus look bad and the SGA look bad.(he said) We are starting to see things happening (now) and people being involved. It’s more about enforcing rules.” Student Ali Lieberman voted against the measure. As a non-smoker she said the policy wasn’t fair and needs more research” (Fernandez).

Reviews remained mixed. Many universities over the years have come up with various policies on smoking ban in order to curb the enormity of the problem, at least within the campus. Forcing anything on anybody, especially rebellious teenagers, and that too to quit something like smoking, will bring out more friction between the authorities and the students. Other than enforcing, the University of Maryland brought out a supporting policy. “One new approach is signing up what’s called “Supporters” who will walk around campus, looking for violators and reminding them of the policy. This week, UMD has recruited 15 volunteers” (“UMD tries new approach to smoking policy”). Another initiative involves the internet. It’s an email address where anyone on campus can shoot an email to identify an area where they see somebody smoking. Violating the policy, however, still has no immediate consequences.” said Dori Decker, a health educator at UMD.

While some believe at enforcing the rules by force, for instance by putting a fine or stringent measurements to make the policy feasible others believe that such immense restraints would cause the tension to soar and will makes rebels more rebellious. Few reviews to reckon are:

“There are so many smokers here, how are they going to enforce it?” asked Bodie Keller, a UMD student. “It’s not gonna make a difference where I smoke,” said student Lindsey Hemker. But the university says they simply want to cater to the 90% on campus who want a smoke-free place to go to school.” “We’re really looking to just change the culture,” said the VC. “If you can’t live with that, maybe this isn’t the place for you to be” (“UMD tries new approach to smoking policy”).

Conclusion:

Imposing a smoke-ban, that too effectively, in campuses is a looming problem across US which needs a tactical and premeditated effort. Reasons vary from person to person that ignited the addictive behavior towards smoking. Identifying and rectifying them one by one is not a functional factor. It could be peer pressure, stress, curiosity, mental makeup or just about anything that could have triggered these children to start a date with tobacco. Generating awareness, communicating with them in their language, showcasing the dreadfulness caused by tobacco, seminars, studies, rehabilitation centre visits, all these can help students identify the monster that is treading along with them to the grave. No law or policy can be forced upon anyone. It would just infuriate the rebelliousness further.

“All classes, all ages, in all climates, and in some countries both sexes, use tobacco to dispel heat, to resist cold, to soothe to reverie, or to arouse the brain, according to their national habitations, peculiarities, or habits…. It relieves the little vexations and cares of life, soothes the harassed mind, and promotes quiet reflection” (“To smoke or not to smoke?”).

But should it be at the cost of you and your loved ones’ lives is the big question.

It is not a fancy topic for some debate. It needs to be pondered by humans at a deeper level, across the world, from a very young age. The paper deals with the effects of smoking ban in Louisiana State University, its repercussions and its outcome among the authorities and the students. It also deals with the century old debate ‘to smoke or not to smoke’ amidst young adults and tries to identify a feasible solution.

Works Cited

Fernandez, Icess. “LSUS students protest possible smoking ban.” Shreveporttimes, 2010. Web. 26 Mar. 2010. <http://www.shreveporttimes.com/article/20100316/NEWS04/3160316/LSUS-students-protest-possible-smoking-ban>.

“To smoke or not to smoke?.” The Atlantic, 2010. Web. 26 Mar. 2010. <http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2006/08/to-smoke-or-not-to-smoke/4761/>.

“UMD tries new approach to smoking policy.” WDIO.Com, 2010. Web. 26 Mar. 2010. <http://www.wdio.com/article/stories/S1484033.shtml?cat=10349>.

“http://www.tobacofreeliving.org.” (Provided by the customer).

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