Students at Northern Kentucky University are seemingly expressing some uncertainties over the tobacco free policy. By January 2014, all freshman students must prepare themselves for a college life that is not entirely filled with liberty and freedom. Entering college life, for most teenagers mean claiming more freedom to do what they like. Yet, in NKU, the freedom to smoke is not a privilege that students may look forward to.
Affecting The Entire Community
Many smokers, both young and old, consider smoking as a means to relieve stress. Stress comes from many sources including a whole new different life when entering college.
The freshman student taking up Chemistry major, Kayla Brown is one of those people who will be greatly affected by the tobacco free policy. Once enforced, Brown needs to go elsewhere to smoke in order to reduce her anxiety from the stressful college loads.
According to Kayla, a person is dense not to know that smoking is bad. Yet, she admits that it can also be helpful at times when a person needs to cope up with the stress of everyday life. Smoking helps her in relieving her anxiety, which is a major reason why she got into the habit.
Uncertainty On Tobacco Free Policy Enforcement
Brown personally believes that this ban cannot be enforced. If there are only a few people in the community who are smoking, she said it would not be so difficult. However, there are actually so many smokers in the NKU community; including professors that implementation would be a hard feat to accomplish.
Freshmen like Brown have two options to choose from: either say goodbye to smoking or go on with it while preparing to face possible consequences. For Brown who resides in one of the campus Woodcrest apartments, it would be the first option.
Quitting Is A Personal Decision
She said that in a way, the tobacco free policy does well for her because it gave her reason to try quitting, although she really does not want to. Nevertheless, her inspiration for quitting does not necessarily come from the ban.
She actually thinks that no smoker would be inspired by the ban to stop smoking. If a smoker has to quit, she said that it must be a personal decision he/she has settled to do in order for him/her to succeed in it. It must be a goal a person likes to achieve to improve him/her and not because he/she is only required by the campus ban.
Smoking Statistics In NKU
The Wellness Center at the institution has presented the results of a survey performed during spring of 2011. This survey showed that in NKU, there are 89% of staff and students who are non-smokers. From the fraction of those who smoke, 75% said they like to quit.
Relation Between Smoking And Anxiety
After a long day of classes and activities, many college students go back to their apartments in search of ways to unwind. Some students drink; others play video games and others smoke cigarette like Brown, who goes outside her campus home to look for a smoking spot.
Anxiety is just one of the factors that push a person to take his/her first drag of smoke; others are peer pressure, genetics and media influence.
In Brown’s situation, she started smoking during high school to alleviate her daily tension. Brown and all other smokers who find stress relief from smoking are those who find quitting more difficult. This is according to the Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention study at University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The lead researcher of this study was Megan Piper and she believed that these people who smoke because of stress relief may find that approved nicotine replacements and quitting methods inefficient.
Lozenges, gums and patches only deal with the chemical addiction, not the emotional and physical attachment of smokers to cigarettes. Thus, many of them may find electronic cigarettes more effective because the devices offer them what other nicotine replacements cannot give.
She was also like other smokers who picked up the habit during teen and college years. According to the Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults Surgeon General’s Report for 2012, 24.8% of fulltime college students aged 18-22 currently smoked in 2010.
There is said to be 3,900 youths below 18 years old who try to smoke their first cigarette each day. 950 of them end up as regular smokers. The American Lung Association said that he younger a person is when he/she began using tobacco, the higher the chances to become addicted to nicotine.
Not Agreeing With The Tobacco Free Policy
Josh Robinson is a Forestry major junior student and said that he does not approve of the policy. He said that it is just one of the bans that may sound good; yet do not have logical sense or consistency.
It is ineffective, according to him and makes everything more frustrating. He and Brown share sentiments about the inclusion of smokeless tobacco in the ban, which have no harmful effects except to the user. The tobacco free policy in the UK also includes electronic cigarette ban on campus grounds.
Robinson said that it would be better if smoking areas would be designated instead. It will keep the campus free from litter and will even help smokers at some point.
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