SmokingZones in Campuses Is Good For Everyone
Recentresearch by Fallin et al. indicate that the prevalence of smokingamong college students is going down and actually is lower comparedto that of same-aged peers who are not attending college (3).However, smoking remains one of the major health issues facingstudent affairs administrators at higher learning institutions,especially, when it comes to the hazards related to smoking. Researchindicates that since 1990s, regulation of tobacco use on collegecampuses has been expanding with so many campuses adopting thestrategy of instituting designated smoking area policies rather thancompletely banning smoking (Burns et al. 738Jancey et al. 12). In this regards, the discourse seeks toshow that a policy of setting designated smoking areas on campuses isof great benefits to every member of the campus.
Accordingto Fennell, strategies to completely ban tobacco use on campuses areoften met with high resistance from smoking students (493).Currently, any form of enforcement of any anti-smoking policiescontinues to be a subtle issue. Before implementing the strategy ofsmoking areas every campus should increase social awareness about therisk of smoking to personal health. In fact, Burnset al. contend that social awareness of the dangers of using tobaccoand setting of smoking zones will not only the smokers learn on howto quit smoking but will also ensure smoke-free environment for everyperson in the campus (738). One of the social characteristics of thestudent in higher learning institutions is the freedom. By settingdesignated smoking zones, campuses will be giving students who smokethe freedom to smoke. Therefore, little if any resistance will facethe strategy, ensure the other people in the campus have a safe,smoke-free environment to live in.
Settingup smoking zones in the universities well help in reducing levels ofharmful gases, which greatly affect the health of non-smokers.According to Roszkowski,Neubauer and Zelikovsky, very many universities in theUK are adopting smoking policies such as setting up of smoking zonessince they have proved to be efficient and widely accepted bystudents (20). By setting up smoking zones, restrictive rules are putin place to ensure that people do not smoke in restricted places.Research indicate that in the universities, smoking zones are set upin areas which few people visit and with a lot of aeration meaningthat non-smoking members of the university can rarely get intocontact with contaminated air (Lechner503). From various studies conducted in variousUniversities, responses indicate that without these smoking areas,students mainly smoke at the entrances of lecture halls and otherpublic buildings before getting into them. This means that everyoneaccessing such buildings is bound to inhale contaminated air, whichis highly harmful to their health.
Researchindicates that both smokers and non-smokers prefer smokingregulations such as setting up of smoking areas. Many students who donot smoke experience discomfort when smokers are free to smoke fromany place in the university. Therefore setting up of smoking zonesmakes the university a better place to study in for students and towork with university employees. The literature also suggests thatsetting up smoking areas in the universities reduce the generalsmoking since they generate surroundings, which can adjust theprofessed struggle of quitting. Setting smoking zones in far placefrom the lecture hall and other commonly used places can aid activesmokers considerably lessen their everyday cigarette usage especiallyduring the day (Roszkowskiet al. 22 Lechner 504). When smoking areas are set upin these far places, smokers may fail to have enough time to visitthem hence will postpone their smoking and with time, gain controlover their smoking habit. Gradually, this will help in reducing theirconsumption of cigarette and may lead to total abstinence from thehabit of time.
Apartfrom improving the environment in which university students live,setting up smoking zones is also a very effective public healthmeasure (Fennel 492). In this regard, smoking zones are seen asstrategies to ensure the health of the university non-smokingpopulations is not at risk of getting respiratory related diseasesresulting from cigarette smoke. Research indicates that theprevalence of respiratory diseases is high in institutions wherethere are no restrictive policies such as smoking zones. Smokingareas are therefore for the good of the whole university population,since the smokers will feel free and accommodated in the universityand at the same time, the non-smokers will have smoke-free areas tostudy and carry their daily chores without the fear of inhalingharmful gases from cigarette smoke.
Universityadministrators create a healthier environment for university studentsand workers by limiting the areas where cigarette smoking ispermitted. Protecting students and workers from second-hand smokegreatly reduces the health care costs resulting from smoking-relatedillnesses. In universities without any regulation on smoking,students often fall sick from smoking related illnesses, which forcesthem to spend days or weeks nursing their illnesses hence fail toattend the routine lectures. This greatly affects their performanceand hence that of the whole university. In case of employees,whenever they are sick from such illnesses, they are given sickleaves hence their work productivity and that of the wholeinstitution is negatively affected. Therefore, setting up ofdesignated smoking places help universities in cutting health costsand improving the overall organisation performance.
Accordingto Fennel, institutions and other workplaces with no restrictions onsmoking, the risks of fires is very high (492). Students who are freeto smoke from anywhere within campuses can do so from the comfort oftheir rooms of even lecture halls. This increases the risk of firessince a single mistake resulting from the careless disposal of acigarette left over can result in grievous damages to universityproperties and may result in loss of life. Designated smoking areasare, therefore, considered as an effective measure to preventaccidents and hazards in the university (Procter-Scherdteland Collins 101). Universities who have implementedsmoking policies, which allow designated smoking zones, have thebenefit of increased lifespan of their properties and another officeequipment since the risk of fires resulting from smoking is veryminimal.
Onthe other hand, there are some other people who argue thatuniversities should not embrace policies that allow designatedsmoking zones, but they should instead cultivate policies, whichensure a total tobacco-free college campus. From their argument, atobacco-free policy ensures that campuses are not unintentionallysupporting the initiation of lifelong tobacco addiction amongstudents because of weak smoking policies (Procter-Scherdteland Collins 101 Perkins 23). They also support theirargument by pointing out that, universities that totally do nottolerate smoking the students perform better compared withuniversities where there are no rules on smoking. This is becausestudents rarely fall sick from smoking-related illnesses hence theyare rarely absent from classes meaning better performance. Accordingto Fennel, a tobacco-free policy does not only ensure that everyperson in the campus enjoys a clean environment free fromsmoke-related pollutants, but also acts as an effective strategy toreduce tobacco use among college students (491). Another negation todesignated smoking zones is that in campuses where tobacco use istotally banned, the institutions incur minimal health care costs onillnesses related to smoking. It is also argued that banning tobaccouse in campuses helps in lowering tobacco use among universityemployees and lowers maintenance and cleaning costs (Roszkowski etal. 23). In addition, setting designated places helps to decreaserisk of fires, helps in building a more striking precincts and workatmosphere and reduces insurance rates. In this regards, cultivatinga policy that seeks to set up designated places for smoking allowscampuses to ensure the wellbeing of staff and students as it inhibitsenvironmental tobacco smoke.
Fromthe paper, it is clear that establishing smoking zones on campuses isof great importance not only to tobacco users but also to the entirepopulation of the university. Tobacco policies, which allow smokingzones, face less resistance from students compared to policies thattotally ban tobacco use. Smoking zones do not only ensure a cleanenvironment for campus students and workers to live in but also helpsin making the tobacco users feel considered and not totally condemnedof their smoking habit (Perkins 23). Smoking zones are mainlyestablished in secluded places within universities, a fact thatdiscourages many students and workers from accessing them during theday. This helps in reducing their daily consumption of tobacco andwhich gradually may help them in quitting the habit.
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Fallin,Amanda, et al. "Measuring compliance with tobacco-free campuspolicy." Journalof American College Health 60.7(2012): 496-504.
Fennell,Reginald. "Should college campuses become tobacco free withoutan enforcement plan?." Journalof American College Health 60.7(2012): 491-494.
Jancey,Jonine, et al. "No smoking here: Examining reasons fornoncompliance with a smoke-free policy in a largeuniversity." Nicotine& Tobacco Research (2014):ntu012.
Lechner,William V., et al. "Changes in smoking prevalence, attitudes,and beliefs over 4 years following a campus-wide anti-tobaccointervention." Journalof American College Health 60.7(2012): 505-511.
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Procter-Scherdtel,Amy, and Damian Collins. "Social norms and smoking bans oncampus: interactions in the Canadian university context." Healtheducation research 28.1(2013): 101-112.
Roszkowski,Michael J., Lane Beth Neubauer, and Nataliya Zelikovsky. "PerceivedBenefits of a Designated Smoking Area Policy on a College Campus:Views of Smokers and Non-smokers." NewYork Journal of Student Affairs 14.1(2014): 19-28.