The new smoke- free policy at Suny Orange has many students outraged. Student smokers are being shunned for their addiction and are now forced to walk to the parking lot during class breaks for their fix. Our society is out casting them, even though it’s still legal, available, and enjoyable for many. However, smoking on campus presents several problems to consider. Smoking is contagious. It spreads like wild fire from one person to the next. Students may find themselves being peer pressured to smoke because it’s ‘’the cool thing to do’’, or ‘’everyone is doing it’’.
Especially since our economy is in a recession, many people are stressed out, and vulnerable. A group of people smoking around a non-smoker creates a bad environment for the non- smoker, and they may be influenced into smoking. It’s no mystery that cigarettes are extremely addictive. If a student caves to peer pressure just once, they could become a slave to the habit for the rest of their life. When I left my English 101 class the other day, I witnessed a 9 year old boy skateboarding up to a student who was smoking and the boy asked him if he could have a ‘’cigg’’.
The student found him amusing and told him he shouldn’t be smoking but, not before handing him a cigarette. With the ban of smoking on campus, it will greatly reduce these situations from happening. Smokers tend to litter. Seeing a smoker flick a cigarette butt on the floor is an image that is all too familiar. With the amount of people who smoke today, it’s simply bound to cause a mess. A college setting shouldn’t be burdened with a dirty landscape. It’s very uncomfortable to walk to class surrounded by garbage. Also, the littering harms our environment.
Birds, fish, flowers, and many critters are at risk. The cigarette butt still contains all the harmful chemicals that are toxic. They aren’t biodegradable so they will build up very rapidly and animals may confuse them for food. In addition, each discarded cigarette butt possesses a potential fire. If a fire where to occur many people’s lives would be put into danger because of the overcrowding O. C. C. C faces. The butt just needs to land somewhere with a little dry vegetation then; with a soft wind, it will burst into flames and spread from building to building.
Unfortunately, smokers don’t seem to take this threat very seriously. The smoke cigarettes emit into the air. It’s practically impossible to walk between buildings without inhaling a lungful of cigarette smoke; especially when smokers light up just outside doorways and force everyone who wants to enter to walk right by them. All the smokers seem to completely disregard the fact that other people don’t want to be indulging in their bad habits. These smokers aren’t just polluting the air outside, but the air indoors as well.
The second someone open the door all the smoke rushes into the building. It’s irritating to have to breathe in these harmful chemicals. It’s an instant headache when a classmate reeking of smoke sits next to me. It also doesn’t help with studying either. While leaving school yesterday I was immersed into a cloud of cigarette smoke and I couldn’t stop coughing, my eyes began tearing and I was extremely uncomfortable. Students are forced to face situations like this on a daily basis, and sadly many have become accustomed to it.
I’m still trying to wrap my head around why so many students are against the new smoke-free policy. It’s not like they are being stripped of their ability to smoke their cancer causing tobacco. It’s just not worth it to have them diminishing the college’s appeal, while hurting themselves, other students, our environment, and potentially our school. Maybe in the future the college will assign designated smoking areas which don’t affect other smoke-free students but, in the meantime there will be no smoking on college grounds.