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Should campus be a smoke-free environment?

Illustration: Carter Klassen · The Sentry

No, the current system is fine

Opinion by Tara Perticone

The reason for wanting to ban smoking makes sense—it’s bad for those who partake and others who are around it. However, it is still a personal choice whether someone decides to smoke or not.

CU Denver has designated smoking areas for those who decide to partake in such activities, and that’s enough. There’s no reason to take them away. This way the effects of second-hand smoke are confined to these areas, and no one has to completely leave campus.

Smoking is still legal. People are allowed to make their own decisions in choosing whether or not to smoke. Besides that, banning substances has never really worked in the past—why would this be any different? 

Additionally, transitioning into a smoke-free campus would mean there would have to be constant regulation for people who disobey the rules. Campus police and police in general already have enough responsibilities. They shouldn’t have to monitor what is already someone’s right to smoke. 

According to America’s Health Rankings, 14.6 percent of Colorado’s population in 2018 smoked either some days or every day. While it isn’t the best decision, people who smoke do so to cope with difficult, negative emotions, according to helptoquit.com.au. A smoke-free campus would inhibit them from partaking in something that helps them get through the day because these people use them as a crutch. 

However, CU Denver has resources to help students quit, one such being a tobacco cessation appointment at the Health Center. There are coaches available to those who need them, and they also provide information about healthy ways of dealing with stress.

The other side of the coin is that vaping, which has become more popular in recent times, has been a tool to help people quit smoking. Gradually, smokers can reduce the amount of nicotine in their vape pens until it has a content of zero. 

Regardless of where students are at in their journey of smoking, they still have the right to smoke. Making a smoke-free campus will only complicate things.

Yes, the current system is dated

Opinion by Haley Frank

It’s 2019. People know that both smoking and inhaling second-hand smoke can cause health risks, so why is it still acceptable for students on the Auraria campus to put themselves and fellow students in the path of harmful smoke? The answer is simple: It’s not. The Auraria campus should move to being a smoke-free environment.

The Auraria campus has designated smoking areas for people to go to on campus as indicated by the smoking area map on the Auraria Higher Education Center (AHEC) website, but there is still one problem: People on campus do not respect these designated smoking areas and instead smoke and vape where they please, putting students who choose not to use cigarettes or e-cigarettes in harm’s way of second-hand smoke.

While CU Denver is a public campus that people have the right to smoke on, smokers and vapers need to be courteous of others who share the campus and not abuse the system in place that accommodates for everyone.

But even then, the various smoking areas on campus can be hard to monitor, so CU Denver’s best interest should be to follow the model of University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus by taking these regulations a step further and completely banning smoking everywhere on campus. While this may not guarantee that people will go completely off campus to smoke, it will at least be a step in the right direction.

Like Anschutz, CU Denver should also work to implement rehabilitation programs to help smokers quit. According to the Tobacco Ban FAQ page for the University, through its University health care, programs are available “at little or no cost to the employee beyond their monthly health care premiums.”

Everyone has a right to smoke or not, however, non-smokers should not be at the risk of someone’s toxic clouds when smokers could simply go somewhere else. 

 

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