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Content Any Way U Want It!

BG Falcon Media

Content Any Way U Want It!

BG Falcon Media

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University sends inconsistent message with smoking ban

Jan. 1, 2014, the University’s smoking ban goes into effect.

According to the University’s webpage, detailing this smoke-free policy, the ban reflects the University’s focus on a healthy environment (

The page offers useful links to smoking cessation resources ranging from the American Lung Association to the Ohio Department of Health. To the extent that this will contribute to a healthier campus, the plan is laudable.

Many of us know first-hand the devastating effects of tobacco use as we have watched relatives and friends struggle with a range of health complications that result from such use.

That said, we cannot help but wonder if this smoking ban is too small a step toward creating a healthy environment at the University. What would a healthy environment look like if it were fully realized?

Well, fasten your seatbelts, fellow Falcons, because our journey to an environmentally healthy campus is going to be a bumpy ride.

After the smoke-free policy is implemented, let’s implement a sugar-free policy. Well, not quite sugar-free, but a campus where the consumption of sugar-added foods and beverages is banned from all campus buildings.

According to the Mayo Clinic, overconsumption of sugar-added food and drinks contributes to poor nutrition, tooth decay, as well as other health problems, including heart disease (

If that is not enough to convince us that we must ban sugar-added foods and beverages, consider this: an April 27, 2012, Psychology Today article reports “Research indicates that a diet high in added sugar reduces the production of a brain chemical known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Without BDNF, our brains can’t form new memories and we can’t learn (or remember) much of anything.”

If you cannot remember much of anything, you are going to have difficulties in college.

So it looks like for a healthy and educational environment, the sugar-added ban should be implemented.

Jonesing a little at the thought of not ‘Dunkin’ your ‘Donut’ in your dorm room?

Not to worry, you can still eat and drink sugar-added foods and beverages in designated parking lots. Just like under the new smoking ban you can still smoke in designated parking lots. And, that is as it should be. After all, if you are going to engage unhealthy practices, perhaps you deserve to be run over.

And, why stop at a tobacco, sugar-added-food-and-beverage ban? Let’s ban the consumption of any processed foods in all campus buildings. Refined flour, you’re history. Easy Mac? More like “Take it outside, Mac!”

Not to worry, though, because we will not see this healthier environment anytime soon at the University. There is too much money to be collected from the sugar-added, refined foodstuff we consume on campus.

The University has a ten-year “pouring rights” contract with Coca-Cola signed in 2007. The contract gives Coca-Cola the exclusive selling rights in exchange for a small allocation for student activities, etc.

According to the University’s Proposed FY 2013 General Fee and Related Auxiliary Budgets, “Commission revenues are used to enhance student activities/programming, recycling, scholarships and programming associated with the student union.” After all, what’s a little tooth decay and cardiovascular disease compared to a free T-shirt provided by Coca-Cola for your upcoming club event?

But it is not just Coca-Cola. It’s Starbucks. It’s Dunkin’ Donuts. It’s Marco’s Pizza. It’s Jamba Juice. It’s Pinkberry.

Could it be that we are committed to a smoke-free environment because there is no money to be made any longer on college campuses from tobacco since poor Joe Camel passed?

Respond to Julie at

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