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I find this, along with other aspects of the latest temperance movement, intensely depressing.I respect the new president at my university and think he does a good job in general (rare praise from a faculty member, I know), so I sent him a letter outlining some of my concerns with a complete outdoor ban on smoking.Cigarette smoking causes a number of health problems which are expensive to treat.
Later, the statistic in the newspaper may or may not mention why she was out there in the first place.
Her bereaved parents may or may not have sufficient grounds to sue the university (but if other parents even suspect that one of their children smoke, they would do well to send them to study somewhere without a draconian outdoor ban).
Smoking is an expensive habit and it should be banned.
Although smokers claim that it helps them to relax and release stress, the negative aspects of the habit outweigh the positive.
To avoid or comply with the new rules, she’ll end up on the far periphery of the campus, in one of the dark places of the university, or on a street off campus.
The university’s “walk safe” escort program will have informed her that they don’t have the resources to escort her, especially for an activity that university administrators want to stigmatize further.
Additionally, students who smoke will likely spend less time on campus and avail themselves less frequently of campus dining options – leading to a reduction in university revenues and a less vigorous student presence on campus.
All these factors remain extremely difficult to measure, and anti-smoking activists who claim to have measured no impact from smoke-free campus policies elsewhere misrepresent the situation. Judging from student comments many of us have already heard around campus, the complete outdoor smoking ban alienates many and breeds resentment toward an administration seen as having gone too far.
If just half of these 4000 students who smoke have access to a car and use it to leave campus just once more a week for lunch or a break (as a result of the ban), this equals two thousand extra car trips a week around the university.
Unlike tobacco outdoors, vehicle exhaust does pose a significant health risk to others, and the extra traffic (some 60,000 extra car trips an academic year as a conservative estimate) will increase the university’s carbon footprint accordingly.