Magazine article Islamic Horizons

Smoke-Free Campuses

Magazine article Islamic Horizons

Smoke-Free Campuses

Article excerpt

Considering the overwhelming scientific evidence and clear guidance from the Qur'an and hadith, the Islam ic Medical Association of North America (IMANA) has strongly recommended that all Muslim campuses, including their parking lots, be declared smoke free.

The IMANA Public Health Committee's position paper says that such a ban would reinforce the idea of Islamic spaces (e.g., mosques) as places of purification and self-improvement. Banning smoking in Islamic spaces would help motivate smokers to quit, thereby leading to a healthier ummah.

Second-hand smoking (passive smoking or environmental smoke exposure), is defined as air inhaled by a non-smoker, contaminated by smoke released from a lighted cigarette, and/or the exhaled air of a smoker. More than 4,000 chemicals, including at least forty-three known cancer-causing agents, have been identified in environmental smoke (California Environmental Protection Agency, "Health Effects of Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke: Final Report" [Sacramento: Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, Sept. 1997). In 1993, the EPA classified environmental smoke as a "Class A" carcinogen.

Cigarette smoke is the number one cause of preventable death in the world. America's surgeon general has identified smoking as the single most modifiable risk factor for cancer, heart, and lung diseases. In 1986, involuntary smoking was identified as a cause of lung cancer as well as cardiovascular and lung diseases in otherwise healthy non-smokers. …

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