Fuming over the vice of smoking

Outdated habit lingers

courtesy of wikimedia commons CIGARETTE SMOKING poses clear dangers to the health of the individual and community, yet the habit remains, even on campus. Alex Haber argues that the habit has outlived the culture in which it was born, and that members of The University community who do smoke should cease.

COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / CIGARETTE SMOKING poses clear dangers to the health of the individual and community, yet the habit remains, even on campus. Alex Haber argues that the habit has outlived the culture in which it was born, and that members of The University community who do smoke should cease.

Published: September 25, 2015

Commentary by
ALEX HABER

Smoking cigarettes remains just as deadly today as it was 60 years ago. Not much has changed in the chemical composition of what people voluntarily inhale. Almost 4,000 chemicals are in just one cigarette, and people still decide to put them in their mouths. Perhaps 50 years ago, no one blinked an eye to seeing someone smoke because it was just what people did. Jump ahead 20 years and still it was just as common, although by 1980 we knew what damage smoking can cause. By now though, you would think our generation would get some sense and kick the habit.

Smoking cigarettes kills, on average, 480,000 people every year in the United States, and unfortunately, many people know at least one person who died from smoking, if not more. Watching people die from diseases such as COPD and cancer, both linked to smoking, should help to push people in the right direction. I am also willing to bet that the majority of people have seen some sort of anti- smoking campaign while in elementary, middle or even high school. Surely you would think that if you see and hear all the negative aspects of smoking, no one in our generation would start the addictive habit. Unfortunately if you look around there are people in our generation who chose to smoke. After all the effort and education about the habit, people still choose to pick up that first cigarette and light it.

Walking around campus I notice a fair amount of people smoking, and I am reminded of a recent article published in The Aquinas. The University was recently named the 44th fittest campus in the United States. If we are one of the fittest campuses then, to some extent, we must also be healthy. If we want to be able to call ourselves a fit and healthy campus, then smoking should not be a habit found on campus. On a side note, if someone smokes just one pack a day for a year they will spend roughly $5,000, and students complain about their tuition dollars being wasted.

Furthermore, we are a Jesuit university, and one of the main values is “Care of the whole self.”

Smoking causes harm to your body, which is a direct contradiction to The University’s values.
Our generation, by now, should know better. We complain about the need for change and that we cannot live the same way past generations have lived. Everyone wants to say that we need to be less racist, less sexist or that we should not repeat the mistakes of our parents’ and grandparents’ generation. Well here is a news flash: smoking is a dirty habit that has somehow snuck through when we were deciding what we should leave in the past. Of all the things that we threw away from past generations, smoking should have gone too.

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