Make our schools smoke free

Writer urges school board to ban all smoking

By the time we reached school age, we were warned of the risks and dangers brought on by smoking. Everyone knows that exposure to smoke increases your risk of developing cancer, high-blood pressure and dying prematurely, among other things.

Due to this, I urge the Wayne Township school board to make all areas of Wayne Township property smoke free. That includes any areas that are currently considered a designated smoking area.

This coming Monday, the school board will be discussing the fate of these smoking areas. The fact of the matter is that by allowing smoking to take place on campus, we are putting students and faculty at a great risk of developing awful diseases, along with taking away the credibility of everything that they taught us in freshman health class.

According to the American Heart Association, people exposed to second-hand smoke are at a 25-30 percent greater risk of developing heart disease. Second-hand smoke caused an estimated 3,400 cases of lung cancer which resulted in death. Small children are at an even greater risk of developing respiratory infections when exposed to second-hand smoke.

Every person has a right to be safe at school. When smoking is allowed on school grounds, it threatens the well-being of our students and faculty.

If this isn’t enough reason to prohibit smoking on school grounds, we can see the hypocrisy in the school’s curriculum and what they allow to happen on campus.

In health class, a huge chunk of time is spent on the dangers that tobacco possesses. We watch videos of people who lost limbs because of their smoking habit and we even have to see disgusting pictures of lungs after a prolonged exposure to tobacco. Some of us even had to sign a pledge that we would never smoke.

If the school board knows the importance of educating students of the risks associated with smoking, then it makes sense that all areas of school property should be smoke-free.

The best way the school board can truly “practice what they preach” when it comes to smoking is to ban smoking from school grounds. Not only will this help send a message to students that smoking has negative effects on their lives, but it also helps to keep every member of the Wayne Township family healthy.