featured9 - More than Just You: Why Is Smoking Always an Issue?

More than Just You: Why Is Smoking Always an Issue?

Despite the multitude of studies that show that smoking does have a lot of negative effects on the health of the smoker and those around them, it still continues to be an issue. Smoking is a habit that divides people as there are those that love it—even treat it like they cannot live without it. Then there are those that are wholly aware of the repercussions of smoking.

Let’s explore why smoking will always be an issue.

It’s a health issue

Smoking kills—there is no denying that. Smoking is a habit that affects the health of several individuals starting from the smoker and leading toward those that happen to be around them at the time. What we find interesting is that everyone can agree that the smoke that comes from vehicles—especially when it is black is back for the lungs and the overall health of the people and the environment.

However, when it comes to the smoke emissions of cigarettes, people are less inclined to believe studies that have proven that smoking has severe adverse effects. These effects only get worse the longer a person smokes or are exposed to cigarette smoke. This will continue to be an issue as long as there are people who are losing their lives over this highly preventable cause of illness.

It’s a social issue

We’re not kidding when we say that smoking and the quest for smoke-free public spaces divides people. Entire families are often split when the topic of smoke-free places crop up. There are those that believe that it is their right to smoke if they want to. We believe that as well. What is not okay is the fact that they put other people at risk whenever they smoke in public places.

People that are constantly exposed to secondhand smoke are more than likely to fall ill. When a smoker lights up a cigarette, they get nearly 5,000 chemicals in their body. When that smoke is processed out of the smoker’s body and into the lungs of someone else, the person that just inhaled secondhand smoke just had about 7,000 chemicals enter their bodies.

Always Remember

Smoking, as long as it exists, will continue to be an issue. As long as this unhealthy habit exists, there will always be people who will get hurt and there will always be people who will continue to fight against it. We hope that through our different discussions you catch a better message about the dangers of smoking and the benefits of smoke-free environments.

With that in mind, why do you personally think that smoking will always be an issue?

featured8 - Joining the Fray: What YOU Can Do To Help Obtain Smoke-Free Spaces

Joining the Fray: What YOU Can Do To Help Obtain Smoke-Free Spaces

Last time, we discussed the importance of having good on-campus activities to get the word out about the benefits of being in a smoke-free campus. Today’s discourse is going to be a bit more on what you can personally do to help the cause of obtaining a wholly smoke-free campus. We believe that when it comes to obtaining such safe spaces, everyone should pitch in.

What Can You Do?

There’s a multitude of things that you can actually do on a personal level. Like:

Not Smoke

31 - Joining the Fray: What YOU Can Do To Help Obtain Smoke-Free Spaces

Quit smoking, closeup broken cigarette on white background, soft focus

If you have ever been a smoker, it would be great if you were to cut the habit off. After all, there will be less smoke going around if there are fewer smokers in the area. When you actively choose to stop smoking, you not only add years to your own life but you add years to the lives of others as well.

Support Calls for Smoke-Free Spaces

32 - Joining the Fray: What YOU Can Do To Help Obtain Smoke-Free Spaces

Usually, there will be a vote of some kind on campuses regarding the state of smoking areas. Being involved and supporting the calls for a smoke-free space is a really big thing. When the administration sees that there are more and more students that want to live and study in a smoke-free environment, the better the chance that policies will be enacted.

Open Dialogue

33 - Joining the Fray: What YOU Can Do To Help Obtain Smoke-Free Spaces

A lot of the time the message about smoke-free campuses gets lost in translation. It becomes this loud message that no one wants to hear. This is primarily because there is no face to the message. If you are able to talk to someone—a peer or even a stranger—about smoke-free living, you add a very human face to the positive message. Talk about why smoke-free campuses are worth fighting for.

Every Bit Helps

When it comes to joining the fight for wholly 100% smoke-free public places in campuses, every single person can help this come to fruition. It doesn’t matter how large or how small your effort it, all that matters is that you helped toward a goal that is larger than yourself. It is also a goal that will have a lasting positive effect on coming generations of students.

Always Remember

Change begins with you. If you are unable to stick to your advocacy, how can you expect other people to follow suit? As long as you keep your eye on the prize and maintain a responsible approach to the discourse of a smoke-free campus, you and your fellow students will be on the right path.

What have you personally done to help advocate for a smoke-free campus?

featured7 - Learning 101: On-Site Campus Activities to Promote Smoke-Free Environments

Learning 101: On-Site Campus Activities to Promote Smoke-Free Environments

Smoke-free spaces don’t just happen by themselves. Smoke-free spaces—especially campuses—need to be fought for. If you are advocating for a smoke-free campus, you need to be armed with activities that will help promote your cause well. Here are a few of our tried and tested on-site campus activities that you can try out:

Forums

One of the best ways to get the word out about smoke-free living is by talking about it. Book one of the lecture halls of your campus for a forum. Have healthcare professionals sit in the panel. Have them answer questions regarding smoking and its effects. Have them talk about the benefits of living in a smoke-free environment.

Forums are one of the best ways to pique the attention of your fellow students. Just be sure to run the marketing well in order to ensure that people will show up. Be clear about the time, date, and location. Be clear about what the subject of the forum is and what topics will be discussed.

Checkup Drives

If there is anything that college students tend to put off, it’s going to the doctor for a wellness checkup. Understanding the state of one’s health is a great way to open their minds to the idea of changing lifestyles and changing habits. Having a checkup drive in your campus—with special emphasis on the health of the lungs—can really raise awareness regarding the risk that they are putting themselves at by continuing to smoke and living in a smoking environment.

Partner up with organizations that are able to work with campuses about getting checked up. Chances are they will also have printed information regarding the risks associated with smoking.

-Please Note-

Before you go and do any of these activities, it is important that you clear it with your campus authority. It will not do anything good for your cause if you hold an unsanctioned activity in your school. Always pass it through the administration—if at all possible, make them a part of it. This will send a stronger message regarding a smoke-free campus.

Always Remember

It does not matter even if your message is born out of the purest of intentions. It is the approach that you take which will determine if your message will take or not. Being proactive and responsible about the sort of activities you have will help your chances of securing a smoke-free space. If you are advocating for a smoke-free campus environment, we hope that the activities we have shared above will help to better your presentation toward a smoke-free campus.

Which activity have you tried in your campus?

info2 - Learning 101: On-Site Campus Activities to Promote Smoke-Free Environments

Infographic by: breatheeasymaine.org
featured6 - Smoking in Columbia: What We Can Learn from the Stand They Took

Smoking in Columbia: What We Can Learn from the Stand They Took

Columbia is one of the more highly respected educational institutions in the USA. Today, we wanted to explore what we can learn about their policy on smoking. The name of this institution may sound really familiar since it is a school that is heavily featured in movies and TV shows like Gossip Girl. Columbia is one of the college campuses that took an alternative route when it came to the whole smoke-free movement.

Smoking in Columbia

21 - Smoking in Columbia: What We Can Learn from the Stand They Took

As Columbia is a campus that will see countless of individuals who may enjoy smoking, it was important for them to be clear about their smoking policy. They emphasized that smoking is a habit that has a lot of drastic and negative effects toward the health of the smoker and those around them. They made it very clear that they will strictly enforce the law that there should be no smoking within twenty feet of any campus housing or building.

They made in clear that they have a number of designated smoking areas for those that still wish to smoke. They recognize that there will be people who will still wish to smoke but aim to have an amicable policy.

What We Can Learn

22 - Smoking in Columbia: What We Can Learn from the Stand They Took

When it comes to analyzing what Columbia has achieved in terms of their not 100% smoke-free campus, there are several things that can be learned. Like:

Compromise is necessary

Columbia was very clear about the fact that there are a lot of different areas on their campus that do not tolerate the presence of smoking. However, they were also able to express that they understand that not everyone in their campus will be on board the smoke-free environment. Instead of banning smoking wholesale, they went with a diplomatic route.

We can learn that compromise is necessary when it comes to striking a balance between groups of people that may have different views regarding smoking.

It can be done

There are so many other educational institutions that do not make this stand because of one reason or another. Columbia’s stand teaches us that it is entirely possible for a powerful institution like Columbia to set its own rules about smoking.

This sends the message that a smoke free establishment or public space is attainable. We merely need to make it happen in our own areas.

Always Remember

There are a lot of teachable moments in our life—we simply need to be aware of it. Columbia’s stand regarding smoking is certainly something that other institutions can learn from. Their approach at striking a balance between smokers and non-smokers is something that we all can learn from and apply in our day to day lives.

What have you learned about Columbia’s stand on smoking?

featured5 - Smoke-Free College Campuses: Why We Need to Fight For Them Today

Smoke-Free College Campuses: Why We Need to Fight For Them Today

College is always an interesting time in a young person’s life. There is a significant change in the surrounding and the amount of freedom that one can get can be pretty great. One of the troubles about college is that freedoms can be at times too liberal like the consumption of alcohol or the presence of smoking within the campus.

College is the time when young adults eventually grow into functioning adults—this is also the time and place where habits (both good and bad) are eventually formed and crystallized. So with that premise in mind, let’s take a look at why we need to fight for smoke-free college campuses.

Healthier Students

College is always the time for experimentation and balance. Students need to balance their lessons, deadlines, having a social life, and building their own other habits. At times to cope with the stress of it all, students turn to alcohol and smoking. This ultimately robs them of the chance to build better and healthier ways to deal with stress.

Making a campus smoke-free will give the students a stronger opportunity to become healthier individuals. They get to build better habits that will serve them well when they go out into the “real world” of adults and the workforce. Having a smoke-free campus will significantly lessen the number of students and professors that will exhibit  the negative side effects of firsthand and secondhand smoke.

Sets Stronger Precedents for Smoke-Free Environments

When a respectable institution like a college takes a stand about having a smoke-free environment, it sends a really strong message about the desire for other places like it. Colleges have nothing to lose and everything to gain when it comes to promoting healthier environments for their students.

If this is something that can be established, what is stopping cities and neighborhoods and work spaces from becoming 100% smoke-free as well? When there are more establishments that are willing to take a stand about smoking and protecting their people from exposure, we raise the bar regarding the need for wholly smoke-free public places.

Always Remember

Change does not occur until you make it happen. There are at least over 1000 college campuses that have chosen to go smoke-free. This is a trend that has benefited not only the students. This is something that greatly benefits the professors and the institution itself. By taking a stand today, you inch your campus closer and closer to adopting a full smoke-free policy.

What do you think we need to fight for smoke-free college campuses today?

featured4 - Rethink That Puff: Dangers of Vaping You Need to Be Aware Of

Rethink That Puff: Dangers of Vaping You Need to Be Aware Of

While there are a lot of smokers out in the world, there are some of them that actively try to find methods of “reducing” the amount of harmful residue that they expel. There are those that try to quit the habit altogether but this is not easy to do. Smoking is a habit that often leads to nicotine addiction which the body will crave when it is no longer present.

In their quest to find newer ways to cut back on harmful fumes but still get the nicotine fix, technology has introduced them to a seemingly safe method: e-cigarettes or electronic cigarettes. Instead of the tobacco, butts, and paper, smoking has seemingly embraced the new century. In its wake, a social activity called vaping has developed.

What is Vaping?

11 - Rethink That Puff: Dangers of Vaping You Need to Be Aware Of

This is the activity that has resulted from the concept of the electronic cigarette. One of the biggest appeals of the e-cig is the fact that there are now different flavors that could be tried. The puff of smoke that results from e-cigarettes are often bigger and depending on the flavor the smell of the cloud of smoke will be different from the normal smell you get when smoking.

When e-cigs and vaping became popular, more and more people thought that this was entirely safe. Here are a few dangers of vaping that we feel you should be made aware of:

Liquid Nicotine Poisoning

12 - Rethink That Puff: Dangers of Vaping You Need to Be Aware Of

Since the creation of e-cigs, there have been more calls toward the US poison control centers about the accidental and deliberate ingestion of liquid nicotine. In a lot of cases, it is young children that end up ingesting or being exposed to liquid nicotine poisoning.

Battery Related Malfunctions

13 - Rethink That Puff: Dangers of Vaping You Need to Be Aware Of

If you’ve heard of or seen videos of sudden explosions caused by e-cigarettes, you would know that this threat is real. With the sudden popularity of e-cigs it was only natural that there would be industries that would want some of that lucrative pie. What has happened is that in the attempt to corner the market and obtain profit, substandard e-cigs are being produced.

When the product is substandard, they have been known to explode.

Always Remember

Smoking whether in its traditional form or in its more modern e-cig form comes with its own sets of risks. While we believe that there should be a compromise in helping smokers who are actively trying to limit their contribution toward unhealthy public spaces, there should be significantly more study going into the risks and dangers of vaping.

What dangers of vaping are you aware of?

featured3 - One for the Kids: Why Children Benefit from Organizations like ShowMe-PALS

One for the Kids: Why Children Benefit from Organizations like ShowMe-PALS

One of the things that we are wholly thankful for is the presence of youth groups across the USA that actively advocate for smoke-free spaces. One of those organizations is Show-Me PALS which stands for People Advocating Living Smoke-Free. This particular organization is headed and run by teens and young children.

Why Children Benefit From Them

When it comes to the foundation of good virtues and morals, our kids can look beyond the influence of the adults in their life. Often, it is good for children to have youth role models. You remember what it was like growing up—chances are you personally would have believed anything your childhood leader would have told you.

This principle is also true when it comes to the social development of children and their advocacies. When it comes to building good foundation, youth groups like Show-Me PALS can truly help. Here’s why:

They’re good examples

The youth leaders that are involved with Show-Me PALS are very serious about their advocacy. They are well-informed and empowered about their choices. They are well-organized and understand the importance of putting up a fight when it comes to obtaining something that will benefit everyone.

Kids in general can learn from this good example. There are a lot of kids out there that need direction and good groups like Show-Me PALS can help give them one.

It promotes healthy thinking and social setting

Youth groups that advocate for smoke-free public spaces often hold dialogues in a safe and responsible manner. It helps to showcase that just because you have an opinion you don’t have to be an ass about it. Regardless of your age, there is a proper way to express your ideas in a wholly constructive and productive manner.

In fact, more adults could use to learn this particular lesson nowadays.

Always Remember

As the adults in the situation, we need to make sure that our children are made aware of the risks that they face when it comes to the cigarette smoke of other people. They need to be made aware of the fact that they have voices too—voices that can be used to fight for their rights to clean air and healthy environments.

There is so much that children can learn from organizations like Show-Me PALS. It is up to the adults to make sure that they are given the opportunity to learn those lessons. Why do you think children benefit from organizations like Show-Me PALS?

featured2 - Smoking and Kids: How Secondhand Smokes Affects Children

Smoking and Kids: How Secondhand Smokes Affects Children

It is always rather frustrating to know that innocent children are being harmed because of the callous decisions made by adults. Today, we wanted to discuss how secondhand smoke affects children. We believe this to be important because as adults, it is supposed to be our responsibility to make sure that the future generations have a better shot at life that we’ve had.

This is how secondhand smokes affect children in different stages of their lives:

Infant

1 - Smoking and Kids: How Secondhand Smokes Affects Children

Infants are often exposed to cigarette smoke when one or both of their parents smoke. This is also likely when someone in the home is a smoker. While they may not mean to do so, infants are more prone to be exposed to secondhand smoke because adults around them smoke more in order to combat fatigue or stress.

When infants are exposed to secondhand smoke, it raises the risk for SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). The longer that they are exposed to secondhand smoke, the greater their chances for developing learning problems and respiratory issues.

Kid

2 - Smoking and Kids: How Secondhand Smokes Affects Children

When kids are exposed to secondhand smoke, their health suffers. Kids that are often exposed to secondhand smoke are more prone toward cough and colds. They are more likely to develop Bronchitis and have worse affliction of Pneumonia—something that can be fatal for really young children.

Always Remember

Children are more prone to the negative effects that secondhand smoke brings. Their systems are still developing and they need our help to make sure that they are able to grow well. With every passing hour, millions more children are inhaling secondhand smoke. Each time you choose to light a cigarette in a public place, you are putting the health of a child at risk.

If we continue to expose our children to the dangers of smoking and secondhand smoke, what kind of future are we trying to build?

featured1 - Starting With the Truth: Three Facts about Smoking You Should Know

Starting With the Truth: Three Facts about Smoking You Should Know

When it comes to the topic of health, it is always important to be armed with facts. Facts are necessary in building empowered choices. Today, we wanted to talk about 3 facts about smoking that we feel everyone should know about.

1: Smoking puts in nearly 5,000 chemicals in your body

This refers to each cigarette stick that you consume—not as a whole. That’s right. Every stick of cigarette that you light up contains nearly 5,000 chemicals which you filter and pass through your nose, lungs, throat, and mouth. Within that 5,000, around nearly 70 of those are known to cause cancer.

2: 1 out of 5 deaths in the US is related to Smoking

If you are a male that chooses to smoke, you cut your life by about 14 years. If you are female, that number bumps up to around 17 years. The more cigarettes you consume the higher that number goes. Cigarette related illnesses cause about 1 out of 5 wholly preventable deaths.

3: 1.70 billion pounds of cigarette butts are collected as litter

A lot of smokers out there do not properly dispose of their cigarette butts. In a single year, over 1.70 billion pounds of cigarette butts are collected as litter. This number does not include the number of butts that have been properly disposed. Every single butt contains traces of those chemicals and they are seeping into our earth.

Always Remember

This is something that you can choose to not put in your body. When you choose to smoke, you not only put in dangerous chemicals in your body and put your overall health at risk. You also contribute toward polluting more than just the air that we breathe. You end up adding toward the trash that piles up more and more each year.

What facts about smoking do you know of?

info1 - Starting With the Truth: Three Facts about Smoking You Should Know

Infographic by: themedicalcity.com