The passing of the new legislation banning smoking in all restaurants, bars, hotels, and other public places is being met with both support and criticism from Ferris students. Both sides have their doubts and praises of the new law.
Students with reservations about the ban are mainly concerned with the fact that the ban on smoking is an intrusion into the private lives of Michigan citizens. Sophomore Evan Thompson believes that the smoking ban not only violates the rights of smokers, but also business owners.
“The choice to have a smoke-free premise or not should be entirely left up to the owner of the establishment,” he said. “Just as it is our choice on whether we, as consumers, frequent those same businesses.”
Eric Simon, a sophomore in the accounting program, also disagrees with the ban, but for different reasons. His argument is that the ban will eventually lead to a decrease in the number of smokers.
“Because smoking has typically been the highest taxed product in Michigan, bringing millions of dollars in state revenues, the ban will be costing Michigan a source of income,” said Simon.
“Not only does the ban not make economic sense, it also could be the beginning of future taxes,” said Simon. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see an increased tax on alcohol. What is the difference? Alcoholism kills people too, yet you don’t hear anyone complaining about it.”
Other students have stated their support of the ban based on the potential health benefits that it will provide.
Maddie Hall, a pre-pharmacy student, is one of them. She said, “Not only will [the ban] help reduce the cancer that can appear due to secondhand smoke, it will also allow people to enjoy themselves when they go out. They don’t have to worry about smelling the smoke and coughing constantly.”
According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 3,400 lung cancer deaths occur annually in non-smoking adults and an estimated 46,000 deaths from heart disease occur in non-smokers who live with smokers.
Secondhand smoke can also lead to breathing problems in non-smokers, respiratory and ear infections, chest discomfort, and reduced lung function.
In children, secondhand smoke can contribute to chronic middle ear infections; lung infections, including pneumonia and bronchitis in children younger than 18 months; increased cases of asthma; and an increase in the number and severity of asthma attacks in children with asthma.
Thompson, however, believes that the effects of secondhand smoke aren’t as big of a deal as everyone, especially the government, makes them out to be.
He said, “This is once again an example of fear-mongering by our government. The smell or inhalation of smoke in a non-smoking section of a restaurant is negligible for the average diner.”
Whether or not the consensus on campus is that the smoking ban is a positive or negative piece of legislation, it will nevertheless go into effect statewide come May 1.