Student smoking

A student smokes outside of TUC on UC's campus, January 17, 2017.

In the U.S., smoking cigarettes is fortunately a declining trend across the board. However, many University of Cincinnati students still say they smoke socially. Of these self-proclaimed social smokers, a significant number believe their occasional cigarette habit does not harm their health.

Twenty-five percent of young adults do not believe occasional or social smoking poses a serious threat to health, according to an American Academy of Pediatrics study.

When you go to any college party, you may see a group of people smoking cigarettes or vaping outside. Bumming cigarettes is a common practice at parties, and due to a lack of judgment while intoxicated, the practice of social smoking is becoming a bigger problem.

It has been proven that social smokers — those who smoke less than one cigarette per day on average — are still at a high risk of becoming regular smokers. In fact, only about 15 percent of people who smoke cigarettes are considered social smokers.

Of course, your body is not meant to breathe in anything but the air in our atmosphere. Avoiding smoking ensures that your body receives the proper oxygen. The lungs continue to grow into young adulthood, and any level of smoking can hinder lung development.

As of May 2017, the University of Cincinnati is a tobacco-free campus, meaning cigarettes, vaping, smokeless tobacco and the use of any other nicotine delivery system is prohibited on all UC campuses.

UC’s tobacco-free policy will surely benefit staff and students in the future. Public smoking bans across the country have many successes; namely in Helena, Montana.

The city of Helena banned smoking in public for a very short time span before the ban was lifted. However, during the public smoking ban, hospital admissions due to heart attack and other cardiovascular issues dropped by 40 percent, according to a study by the British Medical Journal.

After the ban was lifted, the amount of heart attack hospitalizations returned to pre-ban levels.

What does this mean? Decreasing smoking by any amount has immediate health benefits.

It is a known fact that people who smoke cigarettes socially in college are highly likely to develop a smoking habit later in life. The habit of smoking regularly cuts years off life expectancy and is the No. 1 preventable cause of death in the world.

So, do your body a favor and stop drunkenly bumming those cigarettes.