In the modern setting, every individual is encouraged to embrace diversity. That is, peaceful co-existence can be attained by making sure that no ne discriminates against the culture or way of doing things of another person. This is bound to bring about greater unity. The institutions of higher learning such as the colleges and universities are the greatest social institutions which can be used in propagating this unity. However, there is one area in which they have failed; they have refused to accept the community of people who smoke by banning smoking in these institutions. On this issue, this paper seeks to prove that banning in the campuses should not be banned.
First of all, it has to be noted that there are some benefits derived from smoking (Tobacco in Australia Para 1). Some of the conditions which can be prevented through smoking include Parkinson’s disease, ulcerative colitis, endometrial cancer and uterine fibroids, pre-eclampsia among others (Tobacco in Australia, Para 3). Similarly, the cigarettes contain caffeine which is a stimulant. It helps to boost the psycho-motor skills of the students, hence making them more active. Banning smoking on campus without having these considerations in mind can be equated to caring note for the needs of the students who need to smoke in order to attain some of these benefits.
Another reason as to why smoking on campus should not be banned is because it goes against the freedom of choice for the smokers. The individuals are entitled to make a choice as to whether they ant to smoke or not. By banning it on campus, this freedom is curtailed. Rather than banning smoking in the campuses as well as other public places in the pretext of protecting the non-smokers, Lambert (34) argues that these institutions should create smoking zones for the smokers. Under such circumstances, they would have helped to safeguard the rights of al who live within its confines. The non-smokers will be free from the second-hand smoke while the smokers will have their freedom. This is as opposed to a situation where smoking is banned. This is mainly because such a ban fails to consider the needs and interests of the smokers. This is not right.
There is also the other side of the argument which has it that smoking on campus, as in other public places, should be banned. According to Hoffman and Nell (3), smoking bans are effective simply because they help in protecting the non-smokers from the harmful effects of second hand smoke. Furthermore, it helps to prevent the students from getting many of the negative health conditions which are brought about by smoking.
Advocates for the banning of on-campus smoking further argue that this helps in the conservation of the environment and makes the schools a conducive environment for learning. Well, these arguments might be valid. However, there is also the need to consider the other side of the story. If banning of smoking in campus helps to protect the rights of the non-smokers, then who protects the rights of the smokers? This adds up to discrimination and stigmatization against the smokers. There is the need to consider that they are also members of the society who need to be considered and catered for.
On the aspect of health, it has to be noted that in as much as smoking is thought as a prerequisite to many health conditions, it also helps in preventing some health problems as noted by Tobacco in Australia (Para 3). Therefore, smoking should not be fully criminalized. Based on these arguments, it can be concluded that smoking has been grossly misconstrued and misunderstood as a social vice. Nevertheless, this is the stereotyping that has been formulated against smoking, which has led to irrelevant and unreasonable bans. A careful consideration on the issue would culminate in the conclusion brought about by this essay that smoking in campus should not be banned.
Hofmann, Annette, & Nell, Martin. “Smoking Bans and the Secondhand Smoking Problem: An Economic Analysis.” European Journal of Health Economics, 12. Web. 11th April 2013, http://www.hzv-uhh.de/fileadmin/Versicherungsbetriebslehre/Team/Dokumente/SmokingBans.pdf
Lambert, T.A. “The Case against Smoking.” Regulation, Winter 2006. Web. 11th April 2013, http://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serials/files/regulation/2006/12/v29n4-4.pdf
Tobacco in Australia. “Health ‘Benefits’ of Smoking.” Tobaccoinaustralia.org.au, 2013. Web. 11th April 2013, http://www.tobaccoinaustralia.org.au/chapter-3-health-effects/3-28-health-benefits-of-smoking-