While I respect Mr. Panduranga’s thoughts and his courage to take a stand against the University’s plan to ban the smoking of cigarettes on campus, I find his column extremely ludicrous (Keep smoking on campus, 09/10/2009). Sure, Panduranga and many smokers may find the ban annoying, but smoking has become a huge problem in terms of health care for our country.
Decreasing the places that individuals can smoke decreases smokers. It happened when New York City enacted a ban on smoking in indoor public places and it will undoubtedly happen at the University. When smokers quit, the health problems associated with smoking decrease dramatically. The ban is just one way that the University is contributing to increasing the quality of health in America nationwide.
Smoking isn’t the only problem that is affecting the wide range of health problems in our country, but comparing the effects of smoking to the effects of overeating is like comparing apples to oranges. Not everyone that overeats is going to get obese — there are some people that need to consume higher amounts of fat and calories than others. This isn’t to say that every smoker is going to die of lung cancer, but the chances of a smoker acquiring a health problem are far, far greater than the overeater. Also, note that the University has nutritional information in all dining halls so that students are influenced to make healthy choices.
Smokers and those against the ban should stop battling the University and instead use this energy to find a way to quit the gross habit.