Why You Should Put Out (It's Not What You Think!)

You may think it's sexy, but you really should start putting out...your cigarettes.

At UNCW, smoking tobacco is not allowed within 25 feet of all building entrances. This tobacco restriction policy was not established until June of 2008. The new rule came about after a survey was conducted on students in 2007, the majority of whom were not big fans of inhaling secondhand smoke en route to their classes.

In 2007, North Carolina legislation began cracking down on smokers, making it illegal to smoke in state-owned buildings. State law also provided schools in the UNC system the chance to make their own rules in regards to the distance from buildings that smoking is allowed, up to 100 feet.

Prior to 2008, there were no official rules on how tobacco should be handled on campus. Each building had different standards, and nothing was really enforced.

Today, it seems like most Seahawks are following the rules, but enforcement seems a bit ambiguous. Page 2 of the Smoking and Tobacco Product Use Policy states,

“Enforcement of this policy will depend upon the cooperation of all faculty, staff,

students, visitors, and guests not only to comply with this policy but also to

encourage others to comply with the policy in order to provide a healthy

environment in which to work, study, and live.”

The policy goes on to say that violators will be handled by the Office of Student Affairs. In my experience, I have seen people smoke anywhere and everywhere on campus…I mean who wants to carry around a tape measure or yardstick every day? On various rainy days, I have seen many classmates lighting up on the staircase and staying there until their smoke break is over.

I love clean air – UNCW’s Crossroads web page

But, I didn’t decide to write this article because I have it out for smokers. In fact, many of my close friends have fallen victim to the habit. I am writing this because I sincerely care about your health, and the well-being of those around you.

Here are some reasons to start putting out your cigs:

Your life. So here are the cold, hard facts. According to the CDC, the use of tobacco leads to more than five million deaths yearly, 480,000 of which occur in the U.S. alone.

 

Your health. Not all cases are so extreme; however, serious issues can occur from even a light exposure to cigarette smoke (I’ll touch more on this in the next section.) Smoking is so detrimental to your personal health because it negatively affects nearly every organ of the human body. Cardiovascular and respiratory issues, as well as cancer, commonly arise from prolonged smoking.

 

Your friends’ health. Sadly, the rumors are true: secondhand smoke (SHS) can lead to:

  • Lung cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Asthma complications
  • Respiratory infections, and  
  • Death, specifically for non-smokers

The website of the  American Cancer Society is a great place to learn more about the effects of SHS.

 

Your wallet. In NC, the average cost of a carton of ciggy’s is $4.45. Now, let’s say the average smoker is going at it a pack a day. Let’s see how it adds up in the long run…

  • $31.15 a week
  • $133.50 a month
  • $1,602 a year

Think of all the fun things you could do with that money instead of literally burning it. If you’re stuck, here are some suggestions:

  • Go to the beach more – parking is $2.50 an hour!
  • Start working out with a personal fitness trainer at The Student Recreation Center – $180 per semester (16 sessions)
  • Get your nails done – the average cost for a full set is $25
  • Take a road trip – fuel costs from Wilmington to Miami total about $200.

Your looks.  Tobacco use stains teeth, hands and hair. It also expedites hair loss and ages you skin. No thank you!

 

So, maybe you think you should vape? What the pros are saying is that E-Cigs are a safer alternative to smoking, but research hasn’t yet shown that these babies will actually help smokers quit.

Need help quitting? UNCW’s Crossroads organization is dedicated to helping smokers find ways to kick the habit.

  • Get a Quit Kit! Available in The Rec (room #104) and Student Health (DePaolo #2105)  
  • If you call 962-4136, you can schedule an appointment to make your quit plan

Crossroads also suggests writing out your personal list of reasons why you want to quit and having accountability partners who can encourage you on your journey to becoming tobacco-free.

It is interesting to note that the sale of tobacco items on campus is prohibited, however, lighters are sold in the university’s Marketplace shops. This practice seems counterintuitive and sends mixed messages. In my opinion, if the 2008 rules were put in place to promote health, the university would prohibit the sale of items associated with unhealthy, and in most cases on campus, restricted behaviors.

 

What is your opinion?