Get more smoke when you smoke less

Kristen Vasas and Kristen Vasas

It’s that time again people: voting season. TVs are filled with ads bashing candidates, signs go up in front yards supporting different subjects and newspapers are filled with highly credited spokesmen telling us which way we should cast our votes on the issues surrounding Ohio.

Although many of the issues brought to Ohio this year have captured my attention, Issues 4 and 5 really have me riled up.

Issue 4 plans on prohibiting banning smoking in most public places while Issue 5 would ban smoking in most employment places, including bars, bowling alleys and restaurants.

Unlike some people, I am 100 percent in favor of passing Issue 5. This bill will cut back on people’s unhealthy habits and limit the amount of secondhand smoke consuming our environment. This issue deserves to pass not only because it’s clearly the healthier choice, but because its competitor, Issue 4, is filled with completely ridiculous evidence and reasons for passing.

First of all, Issue 4 is proposed by the smoking companies. It’s sponsored by the ‘Smoke Less Ohio’ campaign which conveniently sounds like the ‘Smoke Free Ohio’ campaign, the sponsors of Issue 5.

This was done on purpose: when it comes time to vote, the smoking companies are hoping you will get confused and vote for both these issues when it comes time to punch the ballet.

Voting ‘yes’ for both these issues, even though it sounds intelligent, is just what the smoking companies want. According to, if both issues are passed, Issue 4’s constitutional amendment would supersede Issue 5’s law and could not be reversed unless another amendment to the constitution was made. That means we’d be stuck with this law for quite some time if passed.

On top of that, Jacob Evans, president of Smoke Less Ohio, is blatantly lying to the public. According to an article Evans wrote defending Issue 4, he claims the issue is ‘a reasonable approach to meeting the needs of Ohioans to protect non-smokers from secondhand smoke.’ Evans asserts that the issue would keep non smoking adults and children out of areas where smoking would be allowed: mainly bars, bowling alleys, bingo halls and restaurants.

I’m not sure if Evans has never left the solitude of his home or is merely playing dumb, but some of the most frequented places for families are most of the places I just noted above. Non smoking families enjoy eating out with each other all the time, often in restaurants; teenagers and even college students congregate at bowling alleys on the weekends. If this issue is passed, nonsmokers would be exposed to secondhand smoke at an even greater rate than they are now.

Being exposed to secondhand smoke is extremely dangerous, especially at the rate we would be exposed if Issue 4 was to pass. Smoking is an unhealthy habit. There is no way around it. Exposure to cigarette smoke is a health risk. If Issue 4 passed, people would be coming home with cancerous tumors related to secondhand smoke rather than the rank cigarette stench on our clothing we have become accustomed too.

Instead of seeing those we love die young from secondhand smoke, why not cut smoking in public places completely? Issue 5 promises to do just that. It eliminates the health risks while still keeping citizen’s personal rights in mind. People would still be permitted to smoke at work; they would just have to go outside.

The same goes for public restaurants. It’s true that there would be no more smoking sections inside the restaurant, but at least no one will be bothered by the stench of tobacco just outside the front doors of the facility.

Issue 5 doesn’t only address the issue of smoking, but also takes into account the environment of the non-smoker. It deals with the ever growing issue of secondhand smoke without taking away the personal rights of the smoker.

There are no hidden messages and confusing terms within its objectives, unlike its competitor, Issue 4. So when it comes time to pick a side come November 7, remember to be ‘Smoke Free’ not ‘Smoke Less.’

Send comments to Krisen Vasas at [email protected]

ick Hurm is an alumni of the University and can be reached at [email protected]