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Will N.C. ban at schools discourage smoking?

Mary Lyle, 14, home-schooled, Charlotte: Kids start smoking because they are pressured to smoke and because they are taught (by their peers) to think that it's cool. This ban will most likely have one of two results. Either it will increase the amount of smoking (as in the case of prohibition) or it will discourage students from smoking and therefore smoking will decrease. Giving students classes about smoking and letting them see first hand what smoking does to their bodies is much more likely to stop smoking.

Stephen Idol, 13, South Charlotte Middle School, Charlotte: The ban of tobacco will severely reduce tobacco abuse in the schools of North Carolina. However, there will still be tobacco abuse found on school property. It is common for rules to be broken. It will be especially common at sporting events, unless the rule is strictly enforced. Some non-students may abuse tobacco on campus because they either don't know about the rule or they don't care because they are no longer students. Many people simply don't get the message that smoking is horrible for your health AND the health of those around you.

Nicole McNair, 21, UNC Charlotte: There should be designated smoke areas in public places and especially in an environment such as school. I don't think such a ban will prevent students from starting to smoke because school mandates cannot control what students decide to do after school. Some students will obey the ban because of the consequences involved while others will disregard the ban because of peer pressure, one of the reasons students start smoking in the first place. Young people do not realize the extent to which smoking really damages one's health and also how much second-hand smoke can be just as damaging. They need to stop letting the wrong influences make poor choices that can affect their lives forever.