[ education Category ]
January 10, 2003

UH and their new Tobacco Policy

UH has unveiled their new smoking policy...

It is now not permitted to smoke at UH's breezeways, hallways, couryards, and outside restaurant areas. You also cannot smoke 50 feet around bustops. The reasoning is that innocent non-tobacco consumers should not be exposed to secon-hand smoke simply because they're attending the University.

I for one like the new policy. True, I don't smoke. But the policy is not banning smoking period, it is simply moving it so that people who might come in contact by no fault of their own will be able to stay smoke free. There's nothing more annoying for a non-smoker than to feel hungry and then have your hunger dissapear because you've just inhaled a whole bunch of smoke from people smoking right outside the cafeterias.

I also think that this policy is good because it will be an extra push for those wanting to quit to quit smoking. The UH is apparently also providing free cessation for students and employees of UH on Campus, so that those who want to quit will have access. The only thing I wish is that UH would open these services to people outside the community.

I know there might be strong opposition against this policy, being that there's lots of smokers, but again I would remind them that it's not prohibiting them to smoke, it's simply giving rights to both non-smokers and smokers to be exposed to smoke only if they so chose it.

Posted by Pharoe at January 10, 2003 10:01 PM


Posted by Albert on January 11, 2003 7:30 AM:

That will probably result in a significant drop in profits at Manoa Garden. Can't see smoker/drinkers sitting outside there for long, not when Magoo's is so nearby.

And the bus stop rule is just plain silly, at least so far as the city bus stops are concerned. Those are surely outside the control of UH.

Posted by Carrier on January 11, 2003 11:24 PM:

The point is not to control anything to do with City Buses, it has to do with the fact that people who are simply waiting for transportation on UH property should not have to endure smoke.

Posted by kane on January 12, 2003 3:00 AM:

Not so long ago, non-smokers would say that there was nothing worse than to be eating in a restaurant and to be exposed to cigarette smoke. "Let the smokers smoke outside", they said.

So rules were made and laws were passed to protect the "innocent non-tobacco consumers". No smoking policies were established in federal and state buildings, in stores, restaurants, bars, and other establishments.

Now, so say the non-smokers, these policies aren't good enough. The smokers outside the cafeterias and restaurants are spoiling the appetites of innocent non-smokers; God forbid!

No, these new policies wont give smokers the encouragement to quit. Non-smokers might be surprised to know that some people actually enjoy smoking on occasion, and certainly don't desire the "extra push" in quiting that non-smokers are so often willing to give.

If we are to speak of rights for all when it comes to this issue, then their has to be a little give and take on both sides.

Now if you will excuse me, I am going to go buy a carton of smokes and hang out at the bus stop.

Posted by Albert on January 12, 2003 8:47 AM:

Now if you will excuse me, I am going to go buy a carton of smokes and hang out at the bus stop.

Well, if at one on the UH-Manoa campus, be sure to carry a very long tape measure so you can guarantee you're fifty feet away from it.

Posted by Linkmeister on January 12, 2003 10:27 AM:

"so you can guarantee you're fifty feet away from it."

And a whacking big cigar.

Posted by lisa on January 13, 2003 7:20 AM:

It's about time.. one of the reasons I chose not to pursue a graduate degree at UH was that all the smoke was making me very ill.

I'm highly sensitive to smoke, and I have a heart condition on top of that. A slight whiff of smoke will send me coughing and reeling.

Before the smoking ban in restaurants, I could hardly ever go out to eat- as a friend once said in analogy, "They don't ask you if you want the pee or no pee section of the pool."

I hate to disagree with you, kane, but when it comes to smoke there can't be a compromise for those of us with medical conditions such as asthma, heart conditions, or allergies. I can't see how someone's addictive need, and the minor pleasure they may gain from it, has precedence over my ability to simply breathe.

Posted by Albert on January 13, 2003 7:25 AM:

Since the campus is once again swarming with these pesky student persons I'm reminded, if UH-Manoa is in a banning mood, why don't the do something about cellphones? (I've already sent an email to the "acting" head librarian suggesting use of the things should be banned in the libraries.)

Having to endure inane cellphone babbling is as injurious to my mental health as second-hand smoke is to my physical health, I'm sure.

Posted by Ryan on January 13, 2003 7:33 AM:

If we are to speak of rights for all when it comes to this issue...

I think the idea of "rights" in this issue is misleading. Many things are rights - equal access (enforced via the ADA), for example. Other things, from smoking on a campus to pregnant woman parking at a mall, are accommodations or privileges that are at the property owner's or manager's discretion.

Perhaps it's just a sign of the times, but smokers are running out of luck. An easy demographic to tax for revenue and to inconvenience for political points, yes, but also folks who are making a personal luxury choice at the expense of others' comfort or health... not likely to earn much sympathy.

Today, smokers, tomorrow, SUV drivers?

Posted by Albert on January 13, 2003 7:55 AM:

but smokers are running out of luck

Yes, it may be time to revive my one-time plan of spending my final years in India and Nepal, where I could smoke away and do it much more cheaply. Not to mention smoke more interesting things than tobacco. :)

Posted by lisa on January 14, 2003 7:09 AM:

Ryan, great link. Reminds me of a Mini billboard ad I saw in CA: It read something like "The SUV backlash begins now".

Posted by Albert on January 14, 2003 12:40 PM:

Read the full text of the new "rules" today and my attention was beforehand brought to:

This policy applies to the entire university community, including faculty, staff, students and visitors. While it relies on the thoughtfulness, consideration and cooperation of smokers and nonsmokers and will not be enforced through disciplinary measures

As a friend who is a UH employee said, if anyone gives him a hard time about smoking, he'll point out that it's "voluntary" and he is "not a volunteer".

And in my current reading, came across this from Thomas Wolfe's final novel:

And as they waited, their hunger drawn into sharp focus by the male smells of boiling coffee, frying eggs and onions, and sizzling
hamburgers, they took the pungent, priceless, and uncostly solace of a cigarette, lit between cupped hand and strong-seamed mouth, drawn
deep and then exhaled in slow fumes from the nostrils.

Ah, America as once I knew it ...

Posted by Jason on January 18, 2003 10:57 PM:

I don't smoke myself, but I believe people should have the right to smoke outside wherever they wish, as long as it isn't an outdoor eating area. If you can't stand the smoke, just move away from the smoker.

Posted by Albert on January 28, 2003 1:29 PM:

The absurd thing at UH-Manoa with their new policy is that they've removed many of the ashtrays. Now the people who were filling them with cigarette butts aren't going to stop smoking and too many of them, alas, are just dumping the butts on the ground or in planters. How to turn the campus into a big ashtray ...

Amusingly, the ashtrays at Bachman Hall have not been removed. (For those who don't know UH-Manoa, that's the admin headquarters, home of the Pres's office, etc.)

Posted by Ryan on January 28, 2003 2:14 PM:

If you can't stand the smoke, just move away from the smoker.

Interesting reasoning. (For fun, replace "the smoke" with "the spray of urine" or "the anthrax spores"!) If the smoker is the one electing to release toxins in the air, I think the smoker should do the moving.

Smoke travels, whether you're at a bus stop, at the beach, or on a patio. Yet because of a smoker's lifestyle/luxury choice, I have to take my family away? I don't think so.

It doesn't have to be a matter of law... just common courtesy.

Posted by danielle on March 30, 2003 4:05 PM:

"It doesn't have to be a matter of law... just common courtesy."

well, I am a student at the University of Iowa, and i also live in the dorms, we are not able to smoke in the dorms, or restaurants or 40ft from the outside of our dorms. but if we go across the street to the park to catch a smoke, we still get hassled by one of you non-smokers again, just because one of you decides to pass through a cloud of my smoke, yeah well i dont get a choice about whether i should have to be subjected to a yuppie SUV driver's air polluting, hog the damn road, your damn car should be on the rugged outback instead of cluttering and polluting our air in suburban areas, where your children play, think about that.

Posted by Ryan on March 30, 2003 5:34 PM:

Er, okay, Danielle, let's see if I parsed your argument correctly. You're annoyed that others are annoyed that you smoke in a park. In answer to this, you add that you're annoyed with SUV drivers. Your point being?

That non-smokers are yuppie SUV drivers? That because there are other hazards to health out there, you should be able to be one yourself without guilt? I think I need a little clarification.

I dislike SUVs too. But I also dislike rude smokers (as opposed to reasonable smokers, the category into which, fortunately, most of my smoking friends fall). Both, in one way or another, are people pushing their "lifestyle choice" at the expense of the comfort and safety of others.

Some folks wish smokers would smoke in their own homes, on their own property, or in places where people gather (like, say, parks). Some folks wish SUV drivers would limit their driving to fictional mountain roads in TV ads (or off real fishing piers). Both, though, pretty much have the right to be as annoying as they want to be. I'm just hoping they won't be.

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