‘Key Words’ are oversaturated, greased up
Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, June 19, 2012 01:06
For years Adam Key has been an overwhelmingly instrumental part of this University. Whether during his brilliant time as Coach of the Speech and Debate Team (which thrived under his coaching and leadership) or as a recurring columnist in the Houstonian, Mr. Key has provided a voice to many things people can’t say, or wouldn’t dare to. I can generally agree with Mr. Key on many things – our basic freedoms are highly important to each of us. However, this is one where I need to offer another opinion to the public and the Houstonian.
Adam Key, suggested last week that the new ban on smoking is simply a trademark of "do nothing," a symbol that the students should be worried that our university is trying to pull the wool over our eyes for some other nefarious plans (i.e. raising tuition, dealings with Higher One, etcetera). He suggests that our leaders of this university are trying to appease its attendants by a simple ban. "I realize that I have done an awful job," Key suggests, "but hey, I save you from the evil smokers!" While I can’t say that I have any information on either side of this statement, it does seem like Mr. Key is taking this personally, more than anything. Let’s try and shed some light on some of the other information Mr. Key so poignantly distributes to the Houstonian readers.
Mr. Key notes that the previous smoking attack removed smoking inside the building and banned within any normal range of entrances. He is not lying here, this is true. But, what about the practice of this ban? People did not follow this ban, they would still smoke right next to the door creating a wall of suffocation should anyone with minor or acute asthma walk through it. He suggests that the campus was already putting in measures to keep the environment "safe, healthy, and pleasant" to its students. However, this never happened. I am not on a rampage to attack anyone who does smoke – that’s certainly your prerogative. However, when you can, in fact, endanger the lives of other people, it does become a problem. This ban was put into effect because the previous one was simply not working. You know, one bad apple spoils the bunch. After years of still having smokers right outside the doors to most of the buildings, something more needed to be done!
Now, let’s not forget about Mr. Key’s remarks about the safety concern. He states that smoking is the #2 killer of Americans. "But what about the #1 killer?" He says, "Cholesterol and heart disease." Now, I’m sure being a phenomenal debater, Mr. Key did ensure this was true. From my research, I can see that heart disease is, in fact, number one (killing about 599,000 people in 2010). For the record, I am looking at the website for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, let’s go on further: the number two killer – cancer (around 567,000); the number three – chronic lower respiratory diseases (about 137,000); number four – stroke (about 129,000). These are certainly staggering numbers, and a very good sign about some reform that might need to happen. But, what about that greasy, fat-clogging food that Aramark is shoving down our soon to be obese throats? Well, research only indicates links between cholesterol and stroke (the number four killer of Americans). That absolutely cannot be true can it? We’ve been told all our lives that cholesterol is bad, that we need to eat healthy – and while I’m not saying that this isn’t true, the research only indicates correlations between cholesterol and heart disease and cancer. As any research class will tell you, correlation does not equal causation. Let’s take a closer look at what smoking and tobacco can actually do, though.
Cigarettes help trigger the release of opioids in your brain - these are the ‘feel-good’ chemicals (also triggered by the use of heroin and morphine). Over time, your body starts building up a tolerance and the need for nicotine increases and increases. Nicotine is so fast that is only takes 10 seconds for it to reach your brain after the first hit - and it stays in your bloodstream from 20-40 minutes after the last one. What this does is also stimulate the adrenal glands which produce adrenaline. Over time, with the adrenaline pumping through your body, it will thicken the blood and cause clots, increase your blood pressure, and, obviously, puts at an increased risk of heart attack (the number one killer). It also narrows the blood vessels and arteries in the brain causing an increased risk of stroke (the number four killer). According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer (number two killer) death (in men and women). Furthermore, cigarette smoking is directly responsible for 87% of lung cancer cases annually. And, as such leads to chronic lower respiratory diseases as well (the number three killer).
Where does that leave us? Cigarettes and tobacco are linked to all of the top four killers in America. The greased up, high cholesterol food that Aramark hands out only has a researched link to the number four killer of Americans (stroke). The other connections are simply based upon assumption – no causation has been proven.