My two cents on the smoking ban

By Rachel Billings

October 2, 2012

Smoking areas would be a great compromise but it would have to be enforced better than it is around state buildings or non smoking campuses such as Heartland Health. MWSU is a huge property and it is not easy to go to the end of campus to smoke. I am a smoker and I follow the rules of no smoking in front of buildings except when I walk quickly by them because I have to get to my next class. I believe the smoking bans are a form of discrimination against us as contributing smoking Americans. One example for you is that if you stay in your car and smoke no one can do anything about it. I as a non driver will be at another disadvantage with this new policy being in affect.

I think COVERED places (Which is a big reason that the breezeway between Eder and Murphy is often populated by people smoking) unlike the patio down from Eder and Murphy, should be made for smokers to exercise their freedoms on campus without harming non smoking students and faculty.
Many businesses have gone non smoking and have driven smoking employees and customers to their car, in alleyways, or on other parking lots nearby. I was a non smoking adult for years and understand the points of non smokers, but I also believe in freedom of choice with legal products. Freedom of choice should lead more to a compromise between the two groups than sending the smokers underground like drug addicts.
I would also like to know how many of the faculty members that received “free” smoking cessation programs have stayed smoke free. Heartland implemented a similar program but many of the employees have started smoking again and are forced to go off campus to smoke like criminals hiding a habit. I would also like to point out that the survey of people who supported a non smoking campus might have been swayed by the fact that people were compensated in some way and there was researcher bias from the beginning. In a perfect world cigarettes would never have been invented, but the fact is that it is a legal product. If people really want to make a change and protect everyone’s health, than we are persecuting the wrong people.
Of all the answers to the smoking problem this is not the one that will benefit everyone. We are handing over another freedom by doing this and when will it stop?

Comments

  1. Rachel, you wrote, “I think COVERED places (Which is a big reason that the breezeway between Eder and Murphy is often populated by people smoking) unlike the patio down from Eder and Murphy, should be made for smokers to exercise their freedoms on campus without harming non smoking students and faculty.”

    I fully agree that such places should be provided, AND agree that it can be upsetting to some nonsmokers if they are under such a a covered area and people are smoking. BUT… I do *not* think you should be giving credence to the concept that, even in such conditions, smokers are “harming non smoking students and faculty.”

    I’ve never looked into such “covered patio smoke exposure,” but to give you an idea how people’s fears are unreasonably magnified, I’ll share some analysis I did about fears over walking through “clouds of smokers” at doorways on campuses. Briefly, using the EPA Report figures as a base and applying approximate corrections for intensities and durations of exposure, it would take walking through such clouds of smokers TEN TIMES A DAY for roughly twenty-five million years on the average to produce a single lung cancer. And yet you’ll have students who will literally walk around to the other side of a building, or perhaps even cross a street, in order to avoid a single such “cloud” out of concern for their health.

    The ideal solution, and one which will never be accepted by Antismokers, is to provide a few comfortable and separately ventilated indoor areas for smokers and their friends to relax and socialize. Most of the “problems” with outdoor campus smoking would disappear. Why won’t you see such a thing? Simple: it doesn’t fit with the program of treating the students like lab rats to be negatively conditioned into “proper” behavior.

    Rachel your point about the survey bias is very true: everything from the wording of the questions to the places where the survey was pushed to the degree of organization by paid staffers who were involved and by the campus’s Health Dept. affect the percentages.

    I would suggest that you Google “V.Gen5H” and read, print out, and share “The Lies Behind The Smoking Bans” (It’s the “Health Arguments” link at the top.) that you’ll find there. Students and staff on other campuses have fought and are fighting these bans and you can too.

    Michael J. McFadden,
    Author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains”

    1. Rachel Billings says:

      Michael,

      I am now more aware that trying to be the peacemaker, and hoping for a resolution that would please all partners. If I believed that anyone walking by me smoking were dying from catching a whiff of the smoke I would be more open to those facts. It really doesn’t matter now but as a smoker for years and being a nonsmoker for years I would want my choice whether I want to smoke on campus. I wonder how all of this plays out with where the taxes are going.

  2. smokefree says:

    I am a smoker and I follow the rules of no smoking in front of buildings except when I walk quickly by them because I have to get to my next class. – Translation: You don’t follow the rules regarding smoking.

    I believe the smoking bans are a form of discrimination against us as contributing smoking Americans. Response: Smokefree laws are not a form of discrimination. In order to be discriminated you have to possess certain protected rights that are being violated. Smokers are not a protected class. Smokefree policies are implemented to protect people from the carcinogens that smokers produce and spread indiscriminately to those around them.

    Freedom of choice should lead more to a compromise between the two groups than sending the smokers underground like drug addicts. Response: Most smokers ARE DRUG ADDICTS. Why do you think anyone should compromise their health and safety in order for you to be able to satisfy your addiction to nicotine?

    In a perfect world cigarettes would never have been invented, but the fact is that it is a legal product. Response: It is legal, but is it safe?

    1. Andy Garrison says:

      You can apply that line of logic to damn near anything. Lets take the fact that car crashes kill approx. 6,400,000 people each year; not to mention that, like smoking, it also contributes to carcinogens (based on a report by the IRC) in the atmosphere. Now let’s say that you want to go down to Micky D’s to throw grease on a bun, with a side of fat sticks (which contributes to 70,000 deaths a year based on a report from press in Europe) down your word hole. Based on those statistics, and your own line of thought, the logical conclusion is that there is a reasonable chance that you could kill or injure someone on your way to do something that is unhealthy, and are thereby endangering those around you; and by your reasoning you should not be aloud to do so. “Driving is legal, but is it safe?” The point is that there are all kinds of things that are dangerous all around us. Don’t pick on one group when you are most likely a part of another equally dangerous group in some fashion. Until it is illegal, fuck off.

  3. Cute soundbite responses “smokefree.”

    So you feel you need protection from the lung cancer you might get after twenty-five million years of walking through ten doorway crowds of smokers every day for that long? What about the protection for those smoking students who are forced off campus at night into unsafe neighborhoods to smoke? Think it’ll take 25,000,000 years for one of them to get mugged?

    Oh, of course. You’ll say they simply have the choice not to go. But then again, a few seconds later, you’ll go back to ranting about them being hopeless drug addicts, right?

    – MJM