SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. According to The Truth Campaign website, over 112 people die from secondhand smoke every day. To help prevent that on college campuses, the truth campaign tour made their way to the Western Nebraska Community College to help eliminate secondhand smoke and work to create a tobacco-free policy.
Once tobacco is burned, it brings the effect of smoke into the air. It doesn’t just affect the people who are smoking it but others that happen to be around.
“When a tobacco product is lit, there is over 7,000 chemicals that are admitted into the air and so those are the things that people are exposed to,” explained Denise Smith, Senior Management for College Activism.
Smith says 99% of smokers start before the age of 26 so making these college campus trips are critical to help stop the number one death in America.
“Having a smoke free campus is a way to eliminate second-hand smoke exposure,” said Smith.
According to the Truth Campaign, in the beginning of the 2000s, the smoking percentage was at 20% but as of 2018, it is at 5.9%. They are happy the amount has lowered tremendously but says there is still a lot of work to be done and the community along with peers can help.
“We are not alone,” said Michael Coursey, Marketing Manager for The Truth Campaign. “We are a community of very powerful people on this campus who believe that enough is enough. 112 is too many. One is too many and we are going to stand up, shut up and make sure that there is change on our campus.”
For students on campus, Coursey says that any place that you are going to should provide a safe environment for all. They want to inspire people to stop and not preach or force them to. You want to demand for a change.
“I demand that the place I come to get my education, build my community network of friends and building my professional career later on in life, not have to be exposed around cigarette smoke and secondhand smoke,” explained Coursey.
Their goal; get policies passed on preventing smoking and secondhand smoking on campuses.
On Monday, October 29th, Western Nebraska Community College along with other campuses across the United States will host a silent protest for 112 minutes to honor the 112 lives that are lost every day to secondhand smoke.