Letters to the Editor, Opinions

Letter to the editor: Bring on the smoking ban

In the article “Our View: CSULB should ban the smoking ban” the Daily 49er staff argued that the ban on tobacco that the university plans to implement next academic year tramples the rights of college smokers.

 

Access to a healthy living environment is a fundamental human right, according to the United Nations. Smoking infringes upon that right because it creates secondhand smoke, which causes serious health problems for innocent people.

The president’s plan to ban smoking from campus by fall 2016, should be implemented immediately and without regard for the human chimneys that pollute our air and endanger our health with secondhand smoke.

Secondhand smoke is just as unhealthy as smoking, which causes more deaths than HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor-vehicle injuries and firearm-related incidents combined, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Smoking also causes stroke and heart disease and can cause cancer anywhere in the body.

Non-smokers who inhale secondhand smoke are exposed to many of the same poisons and cancer-causing substances as smokers, even if briefly exposed, according to the CDC. About 34,000 non-smokers die prematurely every year from heart disease caused by secondhand smoke.

In children, secondhand smoke causes asthma, respiratory infections, ear infections and sudden infant death syndrome.

California State University, Fullerton saw the light when it became the first smoke-free CSU in 2013. CSUN went smoke-free this fall. Other Southern California schools such as San Diego State University, University of California, Los Angeles and University of California, Riverside also have smoke-free campuses.

Secondhand smoke is deadly and violates our basic human rights to live in a clean and healthy environment. It’s time we joined our more enlightened CSU and UC brethren and banned smoking from our campus.

 

Best,

Seth Perlstein,

junior journalism major at CSULB

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