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Tyler Dixon English 1510 Sarah Einstein 3 December 2013 The Effects of Secondhand Smoke Smoking is an action that

is not only highly detrimental to the body and health of the smoker, but also has the capability to harm nonsmokers as they go about their everyday lives. Secondhand smoke is a subject that has been getting increasing attention in recent years, as more people become aware related health issues. Originally, many restaurants developed smoking and nonsmoking sections, but in 2006 a law was passed in the state of Ohio which banned smoking in enclosed areas such as bars, restaurants, and workplaces (Smoke-free Workplace Program). One basis of this ban is that creating smoking and nonsmoking sections in a restaurant is like making a peeing section in a pool: no matter where you are in the pool, urine is going to reach you. More recently, many colleges and universities have begun to ban the use of tobacco products on their campuses, in an effort to curtail the effects of secondhand smoke in a densely populated area. Secondhand smoke is a very harmful aspect of society, as it allows people who have never smoked in their life the potential to experience the same health effects of an every day smoker. Smoking is prevalent in the social society, including college campuses and public spaces; therefore society and the government is working towards creating a safer, smoke-free environment. Every single year one hundred and twenty-six million nonsmoking Americans are exposed to secondhand smoke, and each year fifty thousand of those nonsmoking American

adults are killed by secondhand smoke exposure. These statistics show that over a third of the American population in exposed to secondhand smoke, a staggering percentage. Though it is true that inhaling more secondhand smoke over a long period of time is more detrimental to the body, any amount of secondhand smoke can be harmful to an individual. Even after entering and exiting the body of the smoker, the smoke still contains carcinogens which arent healthy in any dose. These carcinogens include chemicals that are also present in gasoline, used in embalming corpses, and found in chemical weapons among other things. Prolonged exposure to these chemicals can lead to the development of health problems such as respiratory infections, and significantly increases in the chances of contracting heart disease or even lung cancer. One of the most at risk age groups are young children, as annually thousands of children under the age of eighteen months are hospitalized with respiratory infections caused by secondhand smoke (Effects of Secondhand Smoke). Along with causing multiple forms of infections, secondhand smoke is known to cause severe asthma attacks in children and even Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) due to its effects on development of the respiratory system (Health Effects of Secondhand Smoke). Secondhand smoke effects everyone in society, and these common recurring health problems among nonsmokers is the main point behind the drive to eliminate smoking in many public areas. In recent years many states have begun making laws in an effort to eliminate the exposure Americans have to secondhand smoke in their everyday lives. Currently twenty four states have laws that prohibit smoking inside restaurants, bars, and workplaces. The bans in these states protect about 49.1 percent of the United States population from secondhand smoke within these regulated environments. In addition to those twenty four states, six other states have laws banning smoking inside of all bars and restaurants. With these additional populations included, a

total of about 65 percent of the population is protected while they are out to eat or drink. Twenty total states where gambling is legal have also prevented smoking within state regulated gambling facilities (Smokefree Lists, Maps, and Data). So far the trend seems to be that more and more Northern states are passing the bans, and the southern states are more hesitant. Of the twenty four states with full bans, only one of those states (Arizona) is located south of Kentucky. Banning smoking in these enclosed public spaces has sharply decreases the nonsmokers exposure to concentrated doses of secondhand smoke in confined areas. These laws make it so nonsmokers usually only come into contact in public spaces where it is more dissipated by the air. Still, even a lower dose is not safe for any person, which has led to smoking bans being taken a step further. Along with many states making it illegal to smoke in indoor public places, many universities have become smokefree or tobacco-free in recent years to attempt to curtail the amount of secondhand smoke on their campuses. As of November 20, 2013, policies have been enacted making one thousand one hundred and twenty-seven campuses smokefree, of which seven hundred and fifty-eight are completely tobacco-free (Smokefree and Tobacco-Free U.S. Colleges and Universities). However these are the numbers for schools that have enacted a smokefree or tobacco-free policy, in some instances the policy has not been fully implemented yet. Included on this list of schools which have enacted a smokefree or tobacco-free policy are fourteen Ohio schools including Ohio State, Ohio Dominican, Toledo, and Hocking College. The schools that are considered to be just smokefree are those that only ban smoking on the campus, those that are tobacco-free have completely banned the use of all tobacco products on the campus. This includes cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, electronic cigarettes, and hookah. Some schools fully ban the sale of any tobacco products, or any tobacco related items on the school property. In most instances of becoming smokefree or tobacco-free, the schools will also

offer cessation services in order to help students quit tobacco products or adjust to not being able to use them on campus property (Position Statement on Tobacco on College and University Campuses). Currently Ohio University is in the process of becoming a tobacco-free campus. In a recently conducted survey 65 percent of the two thousand plus respondents support making the Athens OU camps tobacco free, and 51 percent of the surveyed said they consider secondhand smoke a concern. According to Ryan Lombardi, President of Student Affairs, there are still some questions needing to be ironed out such as how strict of a stance to take on the ban (Brumfield). If everything continues to proceed as planned, it appears that Ohio University will be one of the next schools to join the list of tobacco-free schools. In seeing how the direction American society is headed in modern times, it is relatively safe to assume that secondhand smoke awareness will increase in the coming years. As the awareness increases, more and more states will approve the bans for enclosed public establishments, and more schools will continue to become smokefree or tobacco-free. Given the current trends, it is likely that all public institutions nationwide will become smoke-free or tobacco-free, either by choice or by federal, state, or local regulations. With these eventual sweeping changes that are likely to occur nationwide, there is a great potential for the United States becoming significantly safer for nonsmokers. The numbers of Americans with heart disease, lung cancer, and prevalence of respiratory issues within children should begin a steady decrease in the coming years. Not only would these changes eliminate secondhand smoke exposure, it would also do wonders in helping people quit smoking, if not stop many from even picking up the habit in the first place. Works Cited Brumfield, Sara. "Ohio University Plans For A Tobacco-Free Campus." WOUB Public Media. 20 Aug 2013: n. page. Web. 3 Dec. 2013.

Effects of Secondhand Smoke." WebMD. 12 May 2012: 1-2. Print. <>. Position Statement on Tobacco on College and University Campuses. Journal of American College Health 60.3 (2012): 266-267. PsycINFO. Web. 12 Nov. 2013. Smokefree and Tobacco-Free U.S. Colleges and Universities. American Nonsmokers Rights Foundation, 20 Nov 2013. Web. 2 Dec 2013. "Smokefree Lists, Maps, and Data." American's for Nonsmokers' Rights. 1 Oct 2013: n. page. Web. 3 Dec. 2013. <>. "Smoke-free Workplace Program." Ohio Department of Health. 20 Oct 2008: n. page. Web. 3 Dec. 2013. <>.