- Secondhand smoke causes approximately 3,400 lung cancer deaths and 22,700-69,600 heart disease deaths in adult nonsmokers in the United States each year.
- The current Surgeon General’s Report and the CDC have concluded that scientific evidence indicates that there is no-risk free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Short exposures to secondhand smoke can cause blood platelets to become stickier, damage the lining of blood vessels, decrease coronary flow velocity reserves, and reduce heart rate variability, potentially increasing the risk of heart attack. CDC
The evidence on campus
- Smoking related litter around campus
- Individuals who ignore No Smoking signs
- Smoking receptacles located within close proximity to entrances
- Condensed areas of smokers (ex: near the library, near dorm entrances)
The following is a letter written to Dean Boswell in regard to secondhand smoke:
I’m a freshman living in ***. My first couple of weeks at Hopkins have been really great, and I’m thoroughly enjoying my classes and the experience of living in a dorm at college. Over the past two weeks, however, I’ve begun to notice something really unpleasant.
As you know, *** is not air-conditioned. This means that almost everyone living in the building has a fan, and most people have been leaving their windows open to try and cope with the heat. I live on the first floor of *** house, and as I sit at my desk attempting to do my homework, it’s very common for a large amount of cigarette smoke to be wafted into my window from the people smoking directly outside it. It gets to the point where the whole room stinks as if someone were smoking in it. I don’t smoke, and I try to avoid breathing in cigarette smoke as much as possible, because I feel it’s thoroughly unhealthy. Even though my roommate and I, and many other people on the first floor of *** are making healthy choices about smoking, we’re being subjected to breathing cigarette smoke against our will.
As a freshman, my small dorm room is the only truly private place that I have to go to here at Hopkins. I think it’s completely unfair that cigarette smoke is being forced upon me while I’m trying to get my work done. With this letter I am urging you to support a ban of smoking in the *** courtyard. I think it would be very reasonable to ask smokers to move [elsewhere] in respect for the other people living in the building. Dorm life is centered around respecting other people, and this ban would help us move one step closer to that achieving that respect.
I know that Hopkins is very supportive of leading a healthy life; please help to support a healthier campus by sparing us the experience of breathing in a bedroom filled with smoke. It will be a challenge to make the entirety of campus smoke free, but banning smoking in the courtyard is an important first step.
Thank you for your time,