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The Central Connecticut State University Smoking Banning

The parking zones of Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) cannot be discussed as zones of fresh air appropriate for recreation. During several weeks, it is possible to observe the situation when the only available places for resting can be found at Kaiser Parking Lot or Willard-DiLoreto Parking Lot, places for smoking at the CCSU, when the other lots are occupied by smokers in spite of the CCSU’s anti-smoking policy. As a result, non-smokers at the CCSU are not protected from the cigarette smoke because tobacco users have the right to smoke at determined lots anytime, in spite of violating the policy and occupying the other places for recreation. Is such behavior fair in relation to non-smokers? (Rhetorical question). In August of 2014, the CCSU Faculty Senate expanded the on-campus smoking policy and determined four locations appropriate for smoking (Mason par. 2).

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However, the problem is in the fact that smokers usually do not use the areas reserved for smoking because of their distance and lack of officers to control the situation. The consequences of ignoring the policy by smokers are secondhand smoking to which the other students and employees are exposed as well as observed headaches, allergies, and respiratory conditions. Campus officers report a violation of the policy at least once a week, and it is like a thunderbolt (simile) for the campus authorities. Although the current policy is discussed as an achievement in contrast to the previously used university’s policy, the CCSU Faculty Senate needs to address the problem because the on-campus smoking policy is not effective, and it does not contribute to creating the healthy working environment at the CCSU.

It is important to state that smoking should be banned completely in the CCSU. The on-campus smoking policy of 2014 became the response to Senator Chris Murphy’s initiative to promote anti-smoking policies at universities and colleges of the state in order to prevent secondhand smoking discussed as a large health risk. Nevertheless, it is critical for the CCSU Faculty Senate to go further while improving the anti-smoking policy because non-smokers still remain exposed to the harmful cigarette smoke due to smokers’ regular violations of the policy. There are no places free from smoking (short sentence for impact).

About 48% of students violate the policy and do not smoke in special shelters because of saving their time (“Smoking Debates”). As a result, non-smokers are still at risk of developing lung cancer and respiratory illnesses because secondhand smoke contains about 250 harmful and toxic chemicals, causing cancer (National Cancer Institute). Furthermore, this type of smoking causes 7,300 lung cancer deaths in the United States annually (CDC par. 6).

From this point, there is a need for following CCSU President Jack Miller’s promise regarding the anti-smoking policy, “If we cannot effectively limit smoking to these four areas, then we will have to enforce a ban everywhere on the University campus” (McNamara par. 7). Thus, the CCSU Faculty Senate should ban on-campus smoking completely while adopting the 100% smoke-free policy because secondhand smoking is hazardous for the persons’ health and provokes the development of cancer; students’ productivity and concentration decreases because of the smoke impact; and the current CCSU’s environment is not safe and healthy for students, employees, and visitors. This solution will help to address the problem effectively.

In comparison with the current on-campus smoking policy, the proposed 100% smoke-free policy will be cost-efficient, more useful, and effective because it is possible to follow the experience of the other institutions and concentrate on the stronger leadership while not allowing exceptions. The proposed solution will include the following steps: (1) establishment of the committee for the policy’s development; (2) development of the new policy and educational campaigns; (3) determination of penalties for violating the rules; (4) notification of the campuses’ leaders and students on the changes in the policies; (5) educational campaigns to inform students on the risks of smoking; and (6) implementation and enforcement of the restrictions.

In order to realize the proposal, it is necessary to involve all the faculty members and leaders of the students’ community to develop the educational campaigns to support the policy. Barriers associated with the lack of campus officers to control the policy realization should be overcome with the focus on the support of municipalities. By the end of the 12th month of the policy’s implementation, it is possible to expect changes in the students and employees’ visions of the ban and create a smoke-free environment at the CCSU.

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The proposed policy’s cost will be about $2,300 for 12 months, and it will be funded in the context of the Tobacco-Free College Campus Initiative at the state level because this approach is more efficient for the CCSU (“Smoking Debates”). Similar solutions were adopted at Quinnipiac University, and Gateway Community College in Connecticut and the administrators in these institutions state that completely tobacco-free campuses are advantageous to decrease costs for healthcare by 15% and improve the sustainability rates in 17% (ANR).

The obvious benefits of this proposal are the following ones:

  1. health risks for non-smokers will decrease;
  2. productivity and concentration of students will increase;
  3. the safety of the CCSU’s environment for students, employees, and visitors will increase (parallel constructions).

Thus, students, faculty, employees, visitors, and guests will benefit from the policy because of health risk and cancer risk reduction. If the proposed solution is not adopted, it is possible to expect increases in the rates of chronic respiratory diseases among the CCSU students in more than 10% (ANR).

Still, smokers among the CCSU students and employees can oppose the ban stating that the increase in designated places for smokers, increases in the number of campus officers, and improved systems of ventilation on campuses can resolve the problem. However, the studies show that only strict regulations can guarantee high results (Garg, Fradkin, and Moskowitz 770; Plaspohl et al. 163). The solutions promoted by the opponents of the anti-smoking policy are not effective because the risks of violating any proposed norms remain to be high, and the number of campus officers cannot address the problem directly. Therefore, these solutions cannot be discussed as working in the context of the CCSU.

The adoption of the 100% smoke-free policy by the CCSU Faculty Senate can be discussed as the most logical response to the problem of secondhand smoking and constant violations of the current policy because it will lead to reducing health risks for both smokers and non-smokers, preventing the development of cancer, increasing students’ productivity, and improving the CCSU’s healthy environment for students, employees, and visitors. If the situation does not change in the CCSU, and the proposed policy is not adopted, the consequences for the health of students can be dramatic. When persons are exposed to secondhand smoke during the years, the risks for the development of lung cancer are equal to smokers’ ones. When students are exposed to secondhand smoke during a day, their productivity decreases, and chances for high academic successes vanish (parallel constructions, cause and effect sentences).

Works Cited

ANR: Americans for Non-Smokers’ Rights. Colleges and Universities. 2015. Web.

CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Secondhand Smoke Facts. 2015. Web.

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Garg, Trit, Nicholas Fradkin, and Joel Moskowitz. “Adoption of an Outdoor Residential Hall Smoking Policy in a California Public University: A Case Study”. Journal of American College Health 59.8 (2011): 769-770. Web.

Mason, Ari. CCSU Expands On-Campus Smoking Ban. 2014. Web.

McNamara, Eileen. CCSU Bans Most Smoking on Campus. Web.

National Cancer Institute. Secondhand Smoke and Cancer. 2011. Web.

Plaspohl, Sara, Anthony Parrillo, Robert Vogel, Stuart Tedders, and Andrew Epstein. “An assessment of America’s tobacco-free colleges and universities”. Journal of American College Health 60.2 (2012): 162-167. Web.

Smoking Debates. 2014. Web.

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