October 16, 2017
To Smoke or Not to Smoke
Smoking was a very common theme in the fifties and sixties, it was seen as a social norm and to be cool you needed to smoke a cigarette. Today, smoking has changed into a controversial topic in where a range of campuses across the country have recently debated the idea of smoking and if it should be allowed or not on campus. Three college students wrote articles about their perspective on these debates and if it should or shouldn’t be allowed. In Stephen Miller’s, “A Smoker’s Plea,” he argues that campus anti-smoking policies are based on false statistics, supported by “anti-smoking crusades” whose goal is to reduce the freedom to smoke. Another article is a personal testimony in which Diona Selbourne draws on her own experience from smoking to insist that the practice is harmful and non-smoking policies need to further include e-cigarettes. The last article is Simon Shieh’s, “Smoking Ban Diminishes On-Campus Diversity,” acknowledges that smoking is dangerous to both its users and the environment, but states that having a smoke-free campus misrepresents the diversity of the people that make up student bodies. Through their use of rhetorical strategies such as ethos, personal experiences, and diction, the college student authors show the different views about the controversial topic of smoking on campus.
The anti-smoking movement has shown cigarette smoking to be hazardous for several years. Stephen Miller argues in the text, “A Smoker’s Plea”, that there is a great idea about smoking in which it is not as dangerous as the government presents it to be to the general public across the country. In the beginning of his article, Miller argues that campus anti-smoking policies are made up by false statistics that attempt to reduce the freedom a person has. Miller states, “But I shall nonetheless make an effort to dismantle a few of the major lies that have brought our society to its knees before the unrelenting health fascists” (Miller 1). . Miller also refers to these organizations as “health fascists” to show that their only purpose is to take away the freedom of smoking altogether which is achieved by the distraction of displaying it as a healthier lifestyle to the public. By using the metaphor, “brought our society to its knees”, he is stating that society has changed in a way to follow whatever stats the government releases.
There is an idea that smokers don’t have the same lifespan as nonsmokers, and are outlived by them. As Miller continues with his article, he claims that a majority of smokers are living just as long as nonsmokers. He states, “As the renowned Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, reports...the majority of smoking deaths occur at age 70 or above” (Miller, 1). His evidence becomes credible because refers to the Cato institute and uses ethos to present credible sources in an attempt to persuade his audience that smoking cigarettes doesn’t...