The University of Texas at El Paso has implemented a Smoke and Tobacco Free Campus policy as of August 5, 2013.
Before, UTEP would allow smoking on campus with restrictions near entrances and exits.
El Paso Community College on the other hand has not yet decided to become a completely smoke free campus.
UTEP adopted the policy from the UT System Office of General Counsel.
EPCC is partnered with high schools, as we all know, whose students attend EPCC campuses regularly.
Allowing people to smoke on campus, 15ft away from doors, causes second hand smoke for everyone.
Having students under the legal age to purchase cigarettes or nicotine products is endangering their wellbeing.
The reason I feel strong about making EPCC a smoke free campus is for the fact that students from high school attend the campuses.
Also, it can affect people who already suffer with respiratory problems.
High school students are surrounded by other students who can purchase cigarettes for them.
80 percent of smokers started smoking under the age of 18. 90 percent of smokers began before they turned 21.
Having EPCC smoke and tobacco free would include the restriction of e-cigarettes as well.
Side effects of second hand smoke are to be taken seriously.
The smoke can come from a cigarette, cigar, or pipe.
You are more likely to have lung cancer and it is bad for your heart.
It can also cause more frequent and severe asthma attacks for people who have asthma.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), every year there are 34,000 deaths from heart disease and 7,300 deaths from lung cancer liked to second hand smoke.
Second hand smoke can also cause respiratory and ear infections.
Children are at a higher risk for these effects because their bodies are still growing and they breathe at a faster rate than adults.
Children are more likely to get bronchitis and pneumonia, have a chronic cough, and ear infections.
The most obvious way to avoid second hand smoke is by simply not being around people who smoke.
Some people might say, “Then attend UTEP or another campus that is smoke free,” but it is not always that simple.
Some students can’t afford a university as soon as they get out of high school, and for the Early College High School students, they are taking the opportunity to get college credit while in high school.
In all fairness people should have the choice to smoke, but when it comes to the wellbeing of others, especially children, the majority should rule.