Smoking Ban Thesis

Instead of respecting our students and offering them a safe, liberal environment on campus, our university administrators feel cowed by the new political correctness of the latest temperance movement.How distressing that the groups pushing these policies, from the “true believers” to Anheuser-Busch funded organizations like the Bacchus Network (which would divert universities’ attention from alcohol to tobacco) or pharmaceutical company groups (who often get universities to buy their smoking cessation products and distribute them for free or at a subsidized price), couldn’t care less about the fallout.I can’t help but think that this is because they have more common sense than the rest of us: it’s only a matter of time before this “smoke-free campus” movement gets a student assaulted, raped or killed. I shouldn’t think so, given that the sequence of events is perfectly foreseeable, and quite likely, in the aggregate.

In a sense, the outdoor bans seem like a logical extension of 30 years of efforts to reduce tobacco use, given the harmful effects of smoking.

The majority of the most elite schools, especially Ivy Leaguers like Harvard and Princeton, have yet to jump on the bandwagon, however.

On big campuses like mine (over 20,000 students), many of these make the university residences their home.

At some late-night hour after my university implements its intended ban, a student will want to go out for a smoke.

The Republic of Ireland became the first European country to implement nationwide smoke-free workplace legislation.

Aims: To determine prevalence of smoking among bar workers and estimate the impact of the smoke-free workplace legislation on their smoking behaviour to that of a comparable general population sample.

He replied, however, that he couldn’t rescind the coming ban because other universities in our state were also implementing similar policies, and the state legislature in neighboring Arkansas just legislated complete outdoor smoking bans at all universities there.

“Besides,” he said, “I would have all the true believers on this campus banging on my door in outrage.” How misguided.

We should be teaching our students to deconstruct misleading government and advocacy group statements, such as the claim that “these is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke.” By such criteria, there is no safe level of exposure to sunlight either. With the notable exception of some “Bible colleges,” which also ban alcohol, dating and other practices, most universities in this country value tolerance of people’s lifestyles and individual preferences.

We enshrine this policy when our university handbook advises the following: “Don't attempt to impose your values -- whether political, religious or cultural -- on others.” My university president actually agreed with most of the points I made.


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