Karli Van Duzer
One of my favorite things to do on campus, especially in the fall, is to take a walk and clear my head. While I was on one of these walks the other day I started coughing because I was walking behind a girl who was smoking a cigarette. When this happens I move so the smoke does not blow right into my face but I started thinking why should I move when I pay the same as she does to go to school here.
There are non-smoke areas in public places in most states. Some airports have special smoke only areas so that second hand smoke is not too much of an issue. Since Millersville is a public school maybe there should be smoke only areas here. I know that there is no smoking in the buildings but when people go outside the building and smoke the smoke can still get inside the building. Smoke goes inside vents or blows in through open doors and windows. Some of the dorm buildings have signs on the doors asking the students not to smoke so close to the vents, but some don’t listen. These signs are posted because students in that building have asthma and are being affected by the people sitting outside smoking. One in twelve people have asthma. If you compare that to the 8,725 students Millersville have then about 727 students that have attend Millersville have asthma, which means every time you light a cigarette you could be putting 727 peoples’ lives in danger.
Not only are students with asthma at risk of having a health problem but everyone else on campus is too because of second hand smoke. Adults that breathe in second hand smoke have an increased risk of a heart disease. Second hand risk exposure causes an estimated 46,000 heart disease deaths. People who breathe in second hand smoke also have a higher risk of lung cancer. Second hand smoke exposure causes an estimated 3,400 lung cancer deaths among non-smokers.
Not only is the smoke from cigarettes harmful to faculty and students of Millersville, but the butts from the cigarettes are harmful to the environment. These cigarette butts are littered all over campus. The same girl I mentioned earlier dropped her cigarette butt into a puddle instead of putting it out in a cigarette trash can and I found it ridiculous because she was walking to the anchor and would have passed one anyway. I realize that there are not cigarette trash cans everywhere, but they are by every building, which means there is no reason for people to litter cigarettes. When I saw the girl drop the cigarette, I was very grateful that there were no tours around because if I was here on a tour and saw that I would think the students here are gross and disrespectful. If people want to ruin their health that is their business but they should not ruin the environment and other peoples’ health.