Looking at both sides of smoking the controversy

By Crystal Eynon
Staff Writer

Smoking is the cause of lung cancer 90 percent of the time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It also has a profound effect on those with asthma and other respiratory issues, which can very well lead to an enhanced risk of other lung diseases. Smoking also increases the risks of heart disease and strokes by two to four times that of a nonsmoker.

Nearly everyone is aware of the health issues that are associated with smoking. Those kinds of facts are taught throughout school and are even talked about in the media. It is the economical aspect that many seem to be less aware of.

Taxes help the public
Cigarettes have gone up in price drastically over that past few years. In 2009, the federal tax increase raised cigarette prices by $1.01 per pack of cigarettes. In return, these taxes are divvied out among organizations such as The State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). This organization helps children from low income families receive much needed medical care.

Although the raising prices of cigarettes are stopping people from purchasing them, which in return is helping them lead a healthier life, those that continue to buy are lending a hand in the donating of charitable organizations. Tobacco is also a major agricultural trade for many farmers. According to the College of Agriculture of Kentucky University, where tobacco farms flourish, tobacco farmers made over $345 million in sales back in 2005.

Views on campus
As college students and staff are aware of the facts, they still are entitled to their opinion when it comes to the possible smoking ban on campus. Katherine O’Connor, an employee in LCCC’s Records Office has stated, “As a smoker, it would be nice to have designated smoking areas away from the doorways.” She also explained that she feels keeping smoking off of campus would be difficult to control and that there are other areas of focus that security should be worried about.

Jennifer Stiger also an employee at LCCC exclaimed, “As a former smoker I can see both sides.” Although Stiger can relate to both a nonsmoker and a smoker, as a LCCC employee she also went on to state, “Banning smoking on campus would reduce productivity and morale, and based on that alone I think it’s a bad idea.”

Jean Upson who is currently a teacher at LCCC had stated that the mess left behind by smokers outside of the buildings aren’t how she would like LCCC to be portrayed saying that it is “not the image I would like LCCC to promote and it is the first thing you would see walking in the building.” She also explained that she doesn’t appreciate second hand smoke seeing as everyone is aware of the danger that it can cause.

The debate continues
Cigarettes have always been an ongoing argument, not just on college campuses, but worldwide. Even with adverse health effects, the benefits that they lend to the economy are plentiful, leaving much to be debated.