Smoking and choking on campus

By Ione Friess

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one to say that I am absolutely sick and tired of people smoking on our campus.  After swimming competitively for two years, getting my health and lung capacity up, only to have a bunch of inconsiderate jerks blowing secondhand smoke down my throat, I’ve become more than a little pissed off.

I’ll be honest, I’ve considered just walking up to the next person I see and putting the cigarette out in their hand, or their eye. But what good would that do? I’d just end up in jail.opinion_graphic

Another idea I’ve had is to walk up to every single smoker I encounter and ask for their name and student ID number. That way, if I have to go to the hospital for cancer treatment, I know who to send the bills to.

From there, I thought of maybe suggesting a fee or tax by the school to all smokers. If you want to smoke on campus, there would be a mandatory fee which would go into a fund for lung cancer patients who are the victims of secondhand smoke. It would just be something to get the point across and force smokers to take responsibility for their habit.

What responsibility? Well, cigarettes are one of the only drugs that when used, the initial usage of the drug does not just affect the person using it.

What do I mean? Well, first keep in mind when I say, “the initial usage.” When a person consumes alcohol, they are only damaging their own liver, their own brain cells and their own digestion.

When a person smokes, they do not only harm themselves, but they knowingly harm the people around them as well, because others within their area are forced to inhale the secondhand smoke. By doing this, smokers are deliberately ignoring the well-being of others and being inconsiderate as well as selfish.

It also doesn’t help that they never follow any of the laws set up that are supposed to help non-smokers suffer less. People who are smoking must be 20 to 60 feet away from any public building doors.

That was definitely never followed. And now they’ve made it illegal to smoke on public properties (such as a college campus). So, exactly how is this being enforced?

My suggestion would be to make smoking an iron-clad “NEVER” on our campus. However, those who refuse to give up smoking must purchase and use electric cigarettes and be permitted to use them inside the buildings.

There is the big stink against electric cigarettes because it’s supposedly not the same as the real thing and not quite as enjoyable. Suck it up and stop whining.

If you’re going to poison yourself with your disgusting habits, at least do the right thing and not let everyone else suffer for it.

Besides, electric cigarette companies have come up with a large variety of different flavors. The most expensive part is the purchase of your starter kit (unless you go with an off-brand cheap version from Walgreens). Afterward, you are spending far less money than you would on normal packs.

The average pack of cigarettes costs almost six dollars. Holy hell, people! That’s ridiculous! Especially for those who smoke one or more packs a day! The way it works with electric cigarettes is quite simple. You have the battery (almost all starter kits come with two), which is the reusable, rechargeable base of the cigarette.

Then there are the cartridges. These are what have the doses of nicotine and flavorings and whatnot. You get about four of these in your average starter kit, and then you order more, later, in whatever quantity you wish. Each cartridge contains 250 puffs (that’s with blu brand).

There are two types of chargers for your battery too: wall-plug and USB. This way you can charge your cigarette from your computer or in your car (slight irony there).

The best part about electric cigarettes is that they look real. The tip glows when you inhale to simulate the flame, and you exhale harmless water vapor so you aren’t hurting the people around you. They also come in two styles: blue/black and normal. So you can have yours look like it’s a normal cigarette if you don’t fancy being obvious. As long as you are using them, it doesn’t matter.

The two main electronic cigarette companies out there are blu and PrimeVapor. So I suggest you get crackin’ and start looking them up.

They have reasonable prices, especially for their quality. My own parents have even said that they are wonderful products, and they have been smoking for over 40 years. It’s the considerate thing to do for others (health-wise) and yourself (money-wise).

It’s not asking for much, and if you ask me, it’s far better than a crazy woman burning your wrist every time you come out for a light.