Letter to the Editor

To the editor,

Some think that secondhand smoke exposure is an issue that has already been handled in society. Yes, many laws have changed in regards to the public smoking of tobacco. However, I would like to raise awareness for this issue again as I feel authorities have become lax. For example, Youngstown State university policy 3356-4-01 (Smoke and tobacco-free environment policy) states that smoking is prohibited near, “outdoor areas where smoke may enter the building through an entrance, overhang, windows, vents, loading dock or other openings to a building or other structure, any outdoor patio that is not physically separated from a building, and fountain seating area outside of Kilcawley.” These are a few areas among many that smoking should be prohibited.

According to the CDC, “secondhand smoke causes nearly 34,000 premature deaths from heart disease each year in the United States among nonsmokers” and “secondhand smoke increases the risk for stroke by 20−30%.” These are only two of the many negative, harmful side effects of secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke exposure is something we need to talk about again. We need to continue to bring more awareness to the community on the dangers of secondhand smoke and remind them of what they may have forgotten.

I propose stricter enforcement of the policy mentioned above. More consequences for violation and for awareness to rise again about the dangers of secondhand smoke exposure.

Thank You,
Emily Shields YSU SN