Can you imagine college students who are over the age of 21 being able to drink on a college campus? Can you imagine people in general being able to drink in public over the age of twenty-one. Since most places, and certainly any college, has a ban over this and can legally do so, then a college can also pass a policy restricting students from smoking outdoors on campus property. School campuses can and should restrict smoking on their premises.
One argument against this is that restricting students from smoking anywhere on campus restricts their freedom. This argument appeals to fundamental tenants of the us constitution. The constitution is based on the principle that people can do what they want so long as it does not interfere with the wellbeing, freedom and happiness of others. (James McClellan, 2).
Proponents of students being allowed to spoke on campus would argue that a students smoking does not interfere with others. This argument ignores some other areas where the legal system of the government, which strives to uphold the constitution, does pass laws in which people are prevented from harming themselves.
This can be seen in seatbelt laws. In many states it is a law that you have to wear a seatbelt and breaking this law leads to a fine. Also, there are laws against people using harmful drugs. There are laws, which encourage healthy eating. There are also heavy taxy levied against Tabaco companies in order to restrict use.
Students should be discouraged from smoking. The health problems that result from smoking are well documented. (Dr. Patricia Mancnair, Net Doctor). It causes lung cancer, cardiovascular diseases and emphysema. Colleges are places for people to learn not just an education but to acquire positive life habits that will serve them for the duration of their career. Smoking is a negative life habit, and while a university cannot prevent students 18 years and older from using tobacco products, they should do everything in their effort to discourage this negative behavior.
Discouraging students from smoking does not infringe on students freedoms. There is a growing social trend happening now from England to New York. Only several decades ago, smoking was thought by some to even be healthy. Smoking was much more common in movies and in pop college. Cigarettes could be advertised in commercials and adds marketed to kids. Even while knowing that cigarettes causes health problems, Tabaco Companies tried to make the case that they were. The growing trend is that smoking outside of ones own home or apartment is not a right but a privilege, a harmful privilege, that can be restricted. Many major cities and even smaller ones have restricted people from smoking in bars. Also public parks are now seeing a restriction in smoking.
Universities as private institutions allowed legally permitted to their own self government and can pass policies to restrict access to smoking. Even though some students might not agree with this, few are likely to change colleges over something so trivial. If they are addicted, they could still consume tobacco orally.
Smoking has been well document to cause health problems. It is a habit that is often acquired when a person is young and continues throughout their life. College age is a very formative age and for this reason universities should do everything in their power to discourage students on campus from acquiring it.
Liberty, Order, and Justice: An Introduction to the Constitutional Principles of American Government (3rd ed.) (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2000).
"Smoking – health risks." NetDoctor.co.uk - The UK's leading independent health website. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 June 2013. <http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/health_advice/facts/smokehealth.htm>.