EDITORIAL: Tobacco ban is an unneeded and excessive deterrent
MSU's tobacco use ban went into effect on Aug. 15. Despite the attention, MSU police are being lenient in doling out tickets for smoking on campus as folks adjust. In a previous article from The State News, MSU spokesman Jason Cody said MSU police will not actively seek out violations or actively attempt to give students tickets.
And when this lenience ceases, those ticket numbers are likely going to still be pretty low.
Only 3 percent of MSU students are daily smokers and 65 percent have never smoked a cigarette, according to the 2014 National Collegiate Health Assessment.
These numbers are part of an overall downward trend.
The number of MSU students surveyed who use cigarettes at least one day within 30 days has been cut nearly in half since 2000, according to the assessment.
If MSU wants to counter students' consumption of unhealthy substances, it should pay closer attention to its own statistics on student behavior.
According to the 2014 National Collegiate Health Assessment, MSU students consumed alcohol at nearly six times the rate they used tobacco products and used marijuana at nearly twice the rate they used tobacco in the month preceding the survey.
The ban is not about eliminating the health risk inhaling secondhand smoke poses to non-smokers. Smokeless tobacco is included in the ban, as is smoking in cars.
MSU's previous tobacco policy already addressed issues regarding secondhand smoke.
Smoking within 25 feet of a campus building has been forbidden since 1993, according to the MSU Human Resources website.
Because of the ban, the minority who uses tobacco now must either quit or venture off campus to smoke, a half hour trek depending on their location on campus.
Those who choose to quit have to worry about withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety and weight gain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Depression-prone smokers have a one-in-four chance of experiencing depression when they quit, and this depression is comparable to that experienced after the death of a loved one, according to a guide from The New York Times gathered from A.D.A.M.
Quitting smoking is a healthy choice, but it should be a personal choice and the ban threatens that.
The State News Editorial Board is made up of the Editor-in-chief Jake Allen, Managing Editor Cameron Macko, Diversity Representative Alexea Hankin, Staff Representative Stephen Olschanski, City Editor Josh Bender, Campus Editor Rachel Fradette, Sports Editor Casey Harrison, Features Editor Connor Clark and Copy Chief Casey Holland.