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Essay about Second Hand Smoke - Breaths of Death

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I love nothing more than to stroll around the beautiful campus at State University. The scenery is breathtaking, especially with the promise of autumn about the air. During this particular time of the year, I find great enjoyment in taking a deep breath and inhaling the fragrant aroma of the surrounding nature. However, my enjoyment prematurely ends when the sudden smell of cigarette smoke engulfs me. Sound familiar? If you are a non-smoking student, this scene reflects everyday life on a smoking campus. Something must be done about this infringement upon non-smoker's rights. Is our health so meaningless as to be put at the mercy of carcinogens and toxins? I think not. Though State University provides non-smoking environments within university buildings, the campus itself is void of any means of protecting the well-being of non-smokers. Because second-hand smoke is so dangerous, serious measures must be taken to protect the non-smoker from critical health problems.

Surprisingly enough, the average individual has no idea how harmful second-hand smoke actually is. Why is that? The answer could be that people do not truly understand what second-hand smoke is and of what it consists. Research conducted by the Indiana Prevention Resource Center defined second-hand smoke as a substance that is made up of about 80 percent "sidestream smoke" (the smoke that comes from the lit end of the cigarette and does not pass through the filter) and 20 percent "mainstream smoke" (the smoke which is exhaled by the smoker). It has been proven, by laboratory analysis, that sidestream and mainstream smoke emit different amounts of toxic substances. Because sidestream smoke contains higher amounts of toxins and carcinogens (or cancer causing agent...


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...ork: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1989.

Booth, Alyse. "CASA College Commission Urges All American Campuses to Go Smoke Free." The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (29 Aug. 1993). 12 Sept. 1998 < http://www.casacolumbia.org/media/press/082993.htm>.

Branon, Jack. Personal interview. 5 Sept. 1998. "Exposure to Secondhand Smoke Widespread." Tobacco Information and Prevention Source (23 Apr. 1996). 12 Sept. 1998 .

"Factline on Tobacco." Indiana Prevention Resource Center (1 Aug. 1998). 12 Sept. 1998
http://www.drugs.indiana.edu/publications/iprc/factline/tobac.html>.

Hampshire, Margaret. Oncolink Nurse Notes: Second-hand Smoke. 19 Dec. 1997. 12 Sept. 1998 http://www.oncolink.upenn.edu/causeprevent/faq/secondhand.html>.

Keller, Travis. Personal interview. 21 Sept. 1998.


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