27 February 2008

One thing I don't get

In this week's Foghorn I wrote an opinion piece about USF's proposed on-campus smoking ban.

Then I came across this blog post in SFist about the smoking ban in bars and restaurants. The post sparked a pretty heated debate between smoking and non-smoking commenters.

The issue seems to be a question of rights: smokers should have the right to smoke, non-smokers should have the right to breathe clean, odorless air.

Personally I can't see the point of smoking. It's that simple -- I just don't get it. Having seen my dad, my mom, and my step dad struggle with quitting time and time again, it just seems absurd.

I guess what I'm saying is that the idea of smokers having "rights" seems beside the point. The real question to me is why are they smoking in the first place? The slow and steady poisoning leading to shortened lifespan and the hundreds of thousands of dollars tossed to evil tobacco companies just doesn't do it for me.

But I know there's more than one side of the story, and I'm sure I just can't see it. What are your thoughts?


moorebrigid@gmail.com said...

ew I'm trying to quit smoking (I don't really consider my self a smoker...but if you smoke, I guess you're a smoker..??) and I think it's a great idea to have this ban. Do other campuses have a ban similar to this? Are the successful? What are the steps towards implementing this? I find this whole thing really interesting and kind of hope it sparks a debate among USF students.

laura_p said...

Hey Brigid, glad you're trying to quit. I understand it's quite difficult... but hopefully since you don't do it that much, that makes it easier!

And to answer your question, yes there are about 100 other universities in the U.S. that have smoke-free campuses, including SF State and UCSF. USF would be the first Jesuit university to institute such a ban.

I can't speak to the success of these bans, but it seems like a cool idea worth trying.

david silver said...

i support the ban for similar reasons that you, laura, mention - mainly because it's a bad, dangerous, deadly habit. plus, it's stinky!

i had a similar question that brigid asked - do other campuses have bans and what has the response been?

during my last year in seattle i quit smoking ... after about 7 or 8 years of it! to help me quit, i read a magical book with a silly title: allen carr's the easy way to stop smoking.

my only regret about the foghorn debate between you and hunter is that readers don't have the ability to add comments other than letters to the editor.


nice post.

Nancy Drew said...

I have recently quit smoking as well, along with my husband, and could not agree with Laura more. She proves the argument that each generation is smarter than the previous. Making smoking difficult is one of the best ways to encouage non-smoking. My workplace banned smoking on-site last year and offered quit-smoking workshops. If you wanted to smoke, you had to do so in your car with the windows up (a fitting punishment) or leave the site altogether.

miles said...

while I don't totally agree with the ban on campus because it threatens personal freedom, i do totally agree that smoking-because of all the reasons you mentioned in ur post-doesn't make any sense. In theory, we college students would be smart enough to realize this, and if that were true, the peer pressure tactic would probably work in eliminating on-campus smoking. Unfortunately the lurking evils that be (see Winston, Camel, etc) have one up on us...

ChloeForever said...

I realize you wrote this a while back, but I just now discovered your blog. Smoking is in the same league in filth as urination. You don't pee in public because it smells bad - so the same should go for smoking!