UW-Whitewater should be a tobacco-free campus

Oct. 22 2014

Formaldehyde, Cadmium, and Benzene. Why am I naming these presumably toxic chemicals? Because we are all breathing these in daily while walking to class, work, or on a daily jog and we don’t even know it. These chemicals are all found in second hand cigarette smoke along with many other harmful chemicals. On top of these chemicals being in the second-hand smoke, the surgeon general even states that toxic and cancer causing chemicals are higher in second hand smoke than firsthand smoke. Why should non­smokers have to suffer from another person’s bad habit? They shouldn’t and that’s why the University of Wisconsin­-Whitewater needs to become a tobacco-free college campus along with the other 1,477 campuses that have banned tobacco use.

What will this do for the University of Wisconsin­Whitewater college campus? It will benefit the non­smokers; no longer will we have to breathe in harmful chemicals. There is also an on­-campus daycare here at Whitewater and these little kids play outside daily, why should parents have to worry that their kids are prone to breathing in second­hand smoke? This change could help lower the maintenance costs, no longer will people have to clean up the littered butts as well as the butts in the disposal containers. About 1.69 billion pounds of cigarette butts are picked up yearly. This is outrageous and can be lowered by banning tobacco from college campuses. Not only will it lower the maintenance costs, but it could help lower the insurance cost for the school since there will be less of a risk of fires. If insurance costs are lowered, then maybe other fees that students pay can be lowered as well. I know everyone likes the words, paying LESS for school.

The ban could also help smokers quit smoking. With them not being able to smoke while walking to classes, it helps lower the urge to want to smoke. I also realized that a lot of people start smoking when they get to college because of the stress and peer pressures so if we were to ban tobacco it could ultimately stop a lot of young college students from ever starting.
So, not only could this ban help the non­smokers, but it can also help the environment, school costs and the smokers themselves.

– Sara Johnson
Junior
UW-Whitewater

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