Counterpoint: Great Tobacco Scare

Andrew Wild

The MCCCD Governing Board voted to ban tobacco from all county colleges. It joins over 500 colleges in the United States to do so. In an email to faculty and students, Chancellor Rufus Glasper explains the decision. Under the guise of student safety, smokers will have to walk off the property to light up.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease. It stands to reason that if the Governing Board was truly as concerned about student and faculty health as they claim, they would ban all the greasy, fatty foods in the cafeteria. That would address the obesity and diabetes problems in our country.

If this rule is designed to protect those who care about their air, what about the car exhaust in the parking lot? Or how about the copious amount of fragrance that some students choose to wear? If I can’t smoke, why are they allowed to pollute the air?

I respect nonsmokers’ right to not breathe secondhand smoke. I don’t mind smoking away from doors and in designated areas. But I do ask people to respect my decision, as it is mine alone to make.

In the emailed video, Glasper goes on to state that on Nov. 17, the day of the Great American Smoke-Out as he calls it, MCC will hold tobacco education and smoking cessation programs on campus. Rufus parades out his anti-smoking cheerleaders who explain how happy they are to be taking away my freedom to smoke on campus.

This is part of a trend of anti-tobacco commercials and nonsmokers making the assumption that either: A ? Smokers are ignorant of the health effects of smoking on their body, or B ? We are hooked and can’t help ourselves. While this may be true of some smokers, and I’m all for it if they need help quitting, this is not the case for all smokers. I genuinely enjoy smoking; I like the taste and feeling of a cigarette during a busy day. Yes, I’m aware of the health hazards, and no I am not hopelessly addicted; I have quit before.

Be real with us chancellor and fellow anti-smokers. This rule isn’t about the vague idea of “promoting student health.” It’s about getting rid of something that you just don’t like.


About Author

These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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