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Cigarette Sins

Students talk about their perception of smoking on campus

By Nichole Currier; Assist. Features Editor
On December 4, 2015

Cigarette Sins

Students talk about their perception of smoking on campus

Nichole Currier

Assist. Features Editor

Smoking. It’s something that’s seen on every campus. With designated smoking areas, smoke bars opening up in multiple towns, and new ways of burning coming out every few months, it’s no surprise that this trend is still going strong. However, even with all of the constant reasons to keep smoking, there is an enormous amount of controversy over the subject.

In an anonymous poll, 42 out of 46 PSU students and faculty said they thought smoking makes a person less attractive. This brings into question: why people continue buying packs of cigarettes?

According to recent studies, conducted by Harvard School of Public Health, one third of college students currently use tobacco products. These products range from cigarettes and cigars to chewing tobacco and pipes. Just walking around campus, one can see many students using a variety of these products on their daily commute to class or while talking with friends. According to sophomore, business administration major Jacob Kallander, seeing some
one smoke doesn’t change his view on them whatsoever.

“You are your own person, you can do what you want,” said Kallander. “I started because of stress.” While stress is a common cause for many to pick up the habit, it is unfortunately an illusion that never seems to last very long. Nicotine is a stimulant, which gives the effect of raised blood pressure and quickening the heart rate. This gives the perception of relaxation. In reality, the withdrawal symptoms of going without nicotine after starting, causes more stress than the cigarette itself relieves.

First year psychology mental health major Leanna Bryant has other reasons for continuing the habit. “I started because almost my whole family does it and it was around me all of my life,” said Bryant. “I hung around with the wrong crowd freshman year of high school and that’s when it really began to pick up.”

Unfortunately, social peer pressure often times is a very large aspect of why people start smoking. On the outside, smoking is often associated with a look that is ‘cool’ or ‘mysterious.’ Many college kids remember holding candy cigarettes between their fingers in elementary school, pretending to be ‘older and cooler.’ If this is really the case, then why do so many people find the trait unattractive?

“It is simply a bad habit to pick up and a very addictive one at that,” said Bryant. “It only sucks when you haven’t had a cigarette for almost two hours and your nerves start spiking, but after those two hours pass and you have one, you end up okay.”

Use of tobacco products is responsible for nearly one in five deaths, as well as 30 percent of all cancer deaths, according to

In multiple studies, nicotine has proven to be a more addictive substance than many other drugs, including heroin and cocaine. However, quitting is possible. Resources are available for those looking to kick the habit. Quit Lines are available for those looking for more information that is free of cost and can be called at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

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