Secondhand Smoke and Smoke-Free Zones

Person 1

The report in question provides valuable insights into the way students see the problem of smoking. I am not smoking, and I am for the creation of smoke-free zones. Ridner, Hahn, Staten, and Miller (2006) note that the vast majority of students agree that smoke-free environments are critical. I was not that optimistic as I thought the majority of young people do not care about others. I am a female, and I am not surprised that women are more likely to think that smoke-free zones are necessary. I believe this is due to our attention to our health as we care about our bodies and our future children.

I am quite surprised to find out that two-thirds of smokers find smoke-free environments relevant to some degree. I used to think that smokers will be strongly against the creation of such areas as it would limit their actions since they will have to look for places to smoke. I believe this shows that the attitudes towards health are changing, and Americans are becoming more responsible.

I also think the report can be sufficient background for changing the layout of the US universities’ campuses. There should be only limited numbers of zones for smokers as it is what students are ready for. More so, similar studies should be held in other spheres. For example, people involved in industries, healthcare, those participating in the provision of services should also be questioned. This may help to make US offices, hospitals, restaurants, streets, and so on a much better environment. This will also make the entire nation healthier in the long run.

Person 2

I am a daily smoker, and this is my choice. This is also my right to smoke. However, the development of free-smoke zones is comparable to the restriction of my rights. The survey implemented by Ridner et al. (2006) does not prove anything. I believe the report can hardly be informative and relevant since the vast majority of participants were non-smokers. The researchers took into account the view of one of the sides. They failed to pay enough attention to daily smokers.

Furthermore, Ridner et al. (2006, p. 8) note that 30% of smokers “were bothered by cigarette smoke to some degree”. However, I have at least two remarks as to that finding. First, those were both daily smokers and people who smoke occasionally. Perhaps, non-daily smokers are more concerned with smoking. For example, it does not bother me. Secondly, 30% is still a minority. I do not think that it is per democratic values to focus on the needs of the minority.

As has been mentioned above, any smoke-free zones limit my freedom. At that, I understand that smoke is a substance that spreads all over the place. I agree that there should be some smoke-free environments as some people can have health issues or simply choose not to inhale smoke. However, I believe it will be fair to create equal numbers of such zones. I would like to stress that there are more smokers than non-smokers in the contemporary world. Nonetheless, I would not insist on the creation of more smoke zones. I understand that there are risks (though this can be a slim chance) that smoke harms people’s health. Thus, there can be both smoke and smoke-free zones.

Person 3

I am a smoker, but I have a negative view of this hazardous activity. I smoke occasionally. Usually, it happens during important tests or exams as well as other stressful periods. I think smoking helps me to overcome stress and become more focused. The report by Ridner et al. (2006) provides data on attitudes towards smoke of different groups of young people. I think the findings are relevant and credible as I can see the way my peers view the problem.

I smoke, but I do not like being in places where there is too much smoke. I think smoke-free areas are essential as many people can be sure that they inhale air. My sister has asthma, and she simply cannot be in a room where people smoke. This can kill her. Of course, many students can have similar health conditions and, hence, they have to have places where they will be secured. I also think there should be more smoke-free zones, especially when it comes to university areas.

I also believe that the fact that 85% of students state that smoke bothers them suggests that changes should be implemented. Perhaps, it is necessary to make sure that 85% of the university facilities should be smoke-free zones. More so, the same changes can be made in all American schools. I also think that similar surveys can be carried out annually to trace the latest trends among students. This will also help to develop similar policies aimed at encouraging people to quit smoking or smokeless. I think young people should have a healthy lifestyle.

Person 4

I am a non-smoker, and I do not like when people smoke in public places. I also believe that there should be only a limited number of (closed) areas for smokers. Nonetheless, I do not think many (or even the majority of) people support my ideas. However, according to Ridner et al. (2006), 85% of students have an adverse view of smoking. I am a student, and I doubt that the report is valid as the people I know are not as negative about smoking. It is also clear that the researchers used quite a biased group of people and came to rather faulty conclusions.

Thus, Ridner et al. (2006) note that 72% of participants did not smoke during the past thirty days. Non-smokers or those who smoke occasionally were the majority. At the same time, it is not clear whether the group of non-smokers is the majority in the university. There are chances that this is a small group of students while the rests are daily smokers or those who smoke occasionally. Therefore, the research could be improved if the data on the rate of smokers or non-smokers was provided.

One of the most valuable findings is concerned with smokers’ attitudes towards non-smoke areas. It turns out that 66% of smokers believe that smoke-free environments are “either somewhat or very important” (Ridner et al., 2006, p. 8). This is a positive trend as it is clear that people are becoming more concerned about their health and the environment. At that, it can also be interesting to use more explicit terms and identify the extent to which non-smoke areas can be accepted by students.

Person 5

The report focuses on one of the most burning issues that have implications for people’s health and environment. It can be used by educators, health care professionals, and officials. A similar survey should be carried out in all major universities and schools of the country. It can be necessary to identify areas where this trend is existent and which areas are characterized by more irresponsible behavior. This will help identify less efficient policies that will have to be improved or completely abandoned.

Ridner et al. (2006) stress that 85% of people think that non-smoke places are necessary. There is a demand for healthier environments in society. Interestingly, the researchers also note that risky behaviors (marijuana use, drinking, and lower academic performance) are associated with an adverse attitude towards such areas (Ridner et al., 2006). Such surveys will enable researchers to understand whether policies aimed at the development of healthier behavior are efficient.

At the same time, I feel that quantitative data are not sufficient. It is important to understand why some people still find non-smoke places unimportant. Interviews with opponents of such environments can help reveal particular arguments of these people. This will also enable researchers to develop efficient strategies aimed at encouraging people to live healthier lives.

I also believe that the data provided should be available to young people. It is possible to launch an extensive discussion of the issue. Universities can be the most appropriate platform for such discussion. At the same time, the research can also be discussed in schools as it can be essential to make sure that adolescents are becoming more reasonable and do not display unhealthy behavior.


Ridner, S.L., Hahn, E.J., Staten, R., Miller, K. (2006). Attitudes toward secondhand smoke among college students. Southern Online Journal of Nursing Research, 1(7), 1-14.

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NursingBird. "Secondhand Smoke and Smoke-Free Zones." June 19, 2022.