Editorial Suggests Surprising Approach to University Tobacco Control
At St. Edwards University, students are still allowed to smoke cigarettes on campus. The Roman Catholic university in Texas has avoided making any tobacco control policies so far, but recently an editorial appeared in the campus newspaper calling for university leaders to put smoking rules in place in order to protect student health. Surprisingly, the proposed rules for handling smokers were quite simple: ban cigarettes and let e-cigs stay.
The editorial called St. Edward’s current tobacco-friendly status “antiquated” and pointed out that it would be wise to ban tobacco use on campus. The editorial board proposed that electronic cigarettes offer a solution that could keep everyone happy and eliminate the secondhand smoke bothering many students. “Whether smoking is allowed on campus in order to cater to different cultural traditions or because it looks cool, e-cigs can do the job without bothering those that don’t said,” the author said.
Students have complained that smoking is so prevalent on campus that it has become a real problem. “We, on the editorial board, don’t really care if individuals want to smoke cigarettes, but we don’t like it because it affects us too. Our lungs are not made of steel and our olfactories work just fine. This means we can get irritated by the horrid smell of cigarettes as we’re trying to enjoy coffee outside…”
While many colleges around the United States have already banned smoking on campus, it has caused some backlack among students that are forced to suddenly deal with horrible nicotine withdrawals or leave campus multiple times a day for a smoke break. However, the editorial offers an alternative approach that would eliminate a lot of problems. They suggested allowing e-cigs as a way for students to still enjoy nicotine without bothering nonsmokers in the immediate area.
“E-cigs are better than cigarettes,” the author explained. “If someone smokes an e-cig, you don’t have to smell it from three tables over like you do a cigarette. Even when sitting next to a smoker, the effects of secondhand smoke are lessened.”
The editorial goes on to point to research that proves ecigs have a 10-fold decrease in the exposure to carcinogens. While they do not endorse ecigs for nonsmokers, they claim that it would be life changing on campus for those that are nonsmokers and constantly have to walk through a cloud of cigarette smoke to get to class or the dorms.
It seems that this editorial board really has it figured out and it sounds like the plan would work. Do you think school officials will take their proposal seriously? Should universities allow vaping on campus?