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Smoking Ban Improves Campus Living

     Smoking on campus has been a hot topic lately. As of Aug. 1, TJC will become a smoke-free campus. Students will no longer be able to smoke on campus or in their car if it is parked on campus.
     Some view smoking as an essential right that has been unfairly taken away due to the new ban. Others look at it as a good change that will enhance the quality of the TJC campus.
     There are many ingredients in cigarettes that make one wonder why anyone would even want to start smoking in the first place. There are numerous chemicals in tobacco. Over 50 of them have been labeled as carcinogens. Cyanide has been used for years as a poison. Many have used this poison to commit suicide, including Adolf Hitler.
Benzene is a chemical used in many products such as detergent. High levels of this can be deadly. So much so that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services labeled it as a carcinogen.
     Formaldehyde has long been used to embalm corpses. Ammonia is used in fertilizer.
Smoking is very harmful not just to the smoker but also to those around them. Last semester a reporter witnessed smokers sitting right next to a door smoking even though the sign said to be at least 10 feet from the door. This forced other students to inhale secondhand smoke as they entered the building.
      According to the American Cancer Society, 46,000 people die from heart disease and 3,400 non-smoking adults die from lung cancer as a result of secondhand smoke.
     The campus is already beginning to look a lot cleaner as well. Last semester there were wooden benches and tables around campus to sit on. In the past they have been called the “graffiti tables” and the “smoker tables.” Around these tables, many cigarette butts were discarded on a daily basis. This has become not only a problem at TJC but around the world. It is estimated that there are 1.3 billion smokers in the world. Imagine if every single one of them left one cigarette butt on the ground. That would be a lot of litter.
Some smokers may want to address this issue so they can continue to smoke on the TJC campus. However, TJC is not the only place in the area that has become smoke-free. The City of Tyler passed a smoking ordinance in February 2008. This ordinance states that no smoking will be allowed in public places and/or workplaces such as restaurants and local businesses.
     There are over 400 colleges that have smoke-free policies; some of them include the University of Oklahoma, the University of Texas at Arlington, and Indiana University.
Being a smoke-free campus makes college a better place and lets the students know that the college actually cares about their health and their experience as they go to school.  

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