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Second Hand Smoke – Breaths of Death

I love nothing more than to stroll around the beautiful campus at State University. The scenery is breathtaking, especially with the promise of autumn about the air. During this particular time of the year, I find great enjoyment in taking a deep breath and inhaling the fragrant aroma of the surrounding nature. However, my enjoyment prematurely ends when the sudden smell of cigarette smoke engulfs me. Sound familiar? If you are a non-smoking student, this scene reflects everyday life on a smoking campus. Something must be done about this infringement upon non-smoker’s rights. Is our health so meaningless as to be put at the mercy of carcinogens and toxins? I think not. Though State University provides non-smoking environments within university buildings, the campus itself is void of any means of protecting the well-being of non-smokers. Because second-hand smoke is so dangerous, serious measures must be taken to protect the non-smoker from critical health problems.

Surprisingly enough, the average individual has no idea how harmful second-hand smoke actually is. Why is that? The answer could be that people do not truly understand what second-hand smoke is and of what it consists. Research conducted by the Indiana Prevention Resource Center defined second-hand smoke as a substance that is made up of about 80 percent “sidestream smoke” (the smoke that comes from the lit end of the cigarette and does not pass through the filter) and 20 percent “mainstream smoke” (the smoke which is exhaled by the smoker). It has been proven, by laboratory analysis, that sidestream and mainstream smoke emit different amounts of toxic substances. Because sidestream smoke contains higher amounts of toxins and carcinogens (or cancer causing agent…

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…ork: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1989.

Booth, Alyse. “CASA College Commission Urges All American Campuses to Go Smoke Free.” The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (29 Aug. 1993). 12 Sept. 1998 .

Branon, Jack. Personal interview. 5 Sept. 1998. “Exposure to Secondhand Smoke Widespread.” Tobacco Information and Prevention Source (23 Apr. 1996). 12 Sept. 1998 .

“Factline on Tobacco.” Indiana Prevention Resource Center (1 Aug. 1998). 12 Sept. 1998>.

Hampshire, Margaret. Oncolink Nurse Notes: Second-hand Smoke. 19 Dec. 1997. 12 Sept. 1998>.

Keller, Travis. Personal interview. 21 Sept. 1998.

Same Sex Marriages Should be Legal

Same Sex Marriages Should be Legal

Flowers, candles, and music are all part of a wedding. As the organist plays “Here Comes the Bride,” I notice this is where the similarities end. The bride, who is a woman, is marrying a groom, who is also a woman. Single-sex marriages are only allowed in a few states. However, single-sex marriages should become legal so that couples could enjoy the advantages of marriage. Legalizing single-sex marriage would create more family units and create more tolerance from society, allowing single-sex couples a legal way of expressing their love to each other.

One of the major complaints of heterosexuals against homosexuals is that homosexuals are involved in many sexual relationships instead of a monogamous relationship. If the country would allow same-sex marriages, the people involved would feel as if they could seek out life-long companions. The couple’s relationship would have a goal that is accepted by society. This goal is the same as heterosexual couples’ goal, which is to find that special someone to spend a lifetime with until “death do us part.” Sheila and Annette, friends of mine, have lived together since high school. Sheila and Annette would marry if they were allowed the opportunity. Sheila’s concern is that the gay lifestyle is encouraged to be permissive because of society’s rejection of same-sex marriage. She has a friend, Alice, who has had thirty different partners. Alice says that changing so often is allowable because there are no legal binding contracts to hold one in a relationship. Alice feels that if same-sex relationships had some sort of binding contract, she would be more careful in entering into a serious relationship. So, if the country would legalize same-sex m…

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…want a family, and want to be accepted by society just as heterosexual people want that special person, want to raise children, and want to be accepted by society.

So, as I watch the happy couple stroll down the aisle with smiles on their faces and joy in their hearts, excited about their future together, I am happy that at least this state allows same-sex marriage. Hopefully in the future all states will allow people freedom to choose who they want to be with for a lifetime. The positive outcomes could be beneficial not only to the homosexual community by allowing them a binding contract of marriage, but also to many children who could grow up in an atmosphere of two adults loving and interacting together as a family unit. Love is what all humans want and need, whatever package it may come in. Society needs to relax and permit people to love whom they want.

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