Group looks to SMASH out smoking at Missouri StateFeb 5th, 2010 | By Zach | Category: Campus Group, Featured Articles, Features
by Zach Becker
Smokers endanger not only themselves, but the health of all those around them.
SMASH – Students of Missouri State Against Smoking Hazards – hopes to minimize those risks through anti-smoking advocacy.
“Everyone knows there are hazards of smoking, but some don’t understand that there are just as many with second-hand smoke,” said Sarah Durnbaugh, graduate student in public health and advisor for SMASH.
According to a 2006 Surgeon General’s report, secondhand smoke contains hundreds of toxic chemicals and even short term exposure can cause adverse affects, while long term exposure can prompt heart disease or lung cancer.
“We would like to see Missouri State have a stronger tobacco policy that is just simple and fair so that we can create a healthier campus and environment for everybody,” Durnbaugh said, adding that smoking can trigger allergic reactions in some students causing a disruption in learning.
She believes the main flaw in the current tobacco policy is a lack of enforcement to contain smoking to designated areas. She would also be in support of recent talks of a campus smoking ban.
“Whatever provides a healthier campus is ideal,” she said.
SMASH was founded in 2007 and is funded by a grant. It is a division of the Ozark Public Health Institute. SMASH not only distributes information about the dangers of secondhand smoke, but also provides assistance for students looking to quit smoking.
“The goal of SMASH is really not to hinder the rights of people, but to be respectful of other people on campus,” Durnbaugh said.
To get more information on SMASH, go to www.facebook.com/smash.msu.