Make a first-hand decision about second-hand smoke

By Jana Fagotti
October 2, 2003

Inhalation of any kind of cigarette smoke is harmful. “Check out the warnings on cigarette cartons if you’re skeptical. Whether you inhale the smoke right from a cigarette or from the air in a room, it’s still the same smoke,” Josh Fischman of U.S. News said in his article entitled “The Dangers of second-hand smoke and second-hand research.”

Cigarette smoke is everywhere- outside of every dorm and building on-campus, on side walks, in bars, in restaurants, in clubs and many other places. Senior Julian Smoger admits that, as a smoker, he does not ever think of the effects of second-hand smoking on those who choose not to partake in smoking. Smoger said that he only asks if he can smoke if he is inside or eating. “If I’m outside, I’ll smoke wherever I want,” Smoger said.

According to Fischman, “The carcinogens in tobacco smoke have been found in “passive smokers”-and found at higher levels than in people who are not exposed to smoke.” Non-smoker, Senior Saleem Brown, said, “I don’t mind smoke as long as it’s kept away from me.”

The American Heart Association said, “In the United States, an estimated 26.0 million men (25.7 percent) and 22.7 million women (21.0 percent) are smokers.” Brown, is not alone. These statistics show that 74.3 percent of men and 79 percent of women do not smoke.

“The National Household Survey on Drug Abuse shows that, during 1988-96 among persons 12-17 years old, first-time use increased by 30 percent and first daily use increased by 50 percent. More than 6,000 people under age 18 try a cigarette each day, and each day more than 2,000 persons under age 18 become daily smokers. If trends continue, about 5 million of these people will eventually die from a disease attributed to smoking,” the American Cancer Society said.

While it may not be easy to avoid inhaling smoke everyday, do your part in educating those around you about the effects and dangers of smoking.

Posted to the Web by: Toccara Buckley

Jana Fagotti

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