Opinion: Think Before Lighting Up

Ranger reporter Sydney Moore speaks up about smoking on campus.

By Sydney Moore
Ranger Reporter

sydney moore
Sydney Moore, Ranger Reporter

There is a time and place for smoking, and it is not at school. School is a place to learn, grow and develop healthy lifestyles. A person cannot learn when distracted, and smoking is a distraction – from its smell to the filthy remains lying around.

Amarillo College has a large number of students who smoke. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, 28 percent of college students smoke. That fact is unnerving. It is unnerving because 90 percent of adults started smoking from age 11 to 14.

Students use the courtyard on campus for hanging out. It’s where a lot of smoking can be seen.

While there are signs that state how far to stay away from the entrances of a building, it still is not welcoming to walk anywhere with the smell of a cigarette following you around all day. In the past, there were things done to regulate smoking on campus. Roping off the cafeteria was one way.

But what about the fact that smoke travels? Smoking is not healthy, by any means. It is bad for the smokers and the people close to them. If that innocent bystander gets sick from your poison, would you feel guilty?

Statistics show that 1,215 people die a day from smoking. Secondhand smoke kills 147 people a day. Because it is a free country, smokers should be able to smoke (at their own risk, of course). Just smoke elsewhere.

A small space could be made just for smoking, such as a parking lot away from heavy human traffic or a nice area with benches. With so many students milling about, someone is going to get sick sooner or later from the vapor floating around. Even hospitals will not allow smoking.

People make the argument that it is unconstitutional to put bans on smoking. Yes, it is. After all, the only person to make the decision to damage vital organs is the one smoking. I am not saying to ban it from campus but to move it to a secluded area. If a small space for smoking is not available, then wait for the privacy of your own home, or if age permits it, a club that allows smoking indoors, which comes in handy during the winter.

When around others, be courteous enough to ask if smoke bothers them. They might be nice back. There are no easy solutions to issues such as smoking in public, but there are ways to accommodate everyone.

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