Banning smoking on campus not solution

In recent months, tobacco use has become a point of contention at Tufts. Some nonsmokers feel that they are being forced to inhale cigarette smoke on a daily basis and that smoking on campus has gotten out of hand. Many smokers, on the other hand, argue that as long as they aren’t deliberately blowing smoke in peoples’ faces, they should have the right to smoke in designated locations on campus. How can Tufts policy simultaneously minimize students’ exposure to secondhand smoke while respecting the rights of smokers? Should Tufts even intervene in this issue in the first place?

Some have suggested that Tufts follow in the footsteps of Harvard, Northeastern and other nearby universities and try to implement a tobacco-free policy across campus. There is already a group forming in support of a tobacco-free campus, and if national trends are any indication, Tufts may well be headed in that direction.

Though smoking on campus poses a problem for many students, a complete ban on smoking across campus is not a fair or realistic solution to the problems posed by tobacco use. Tufts should focus on education related to nicotine addiction and treatment rather than making a singular decision for all students.

It is easy to see why banning tobacco may appear to be a sensible policy at first glance. While the vast majority of Tufts students are not habitual smokers, it can sometimes feel that way, especially for students who have asthma or prefer to avoid exposure to secondhand smoke. This is especially evident outside the front doors of Tisch library, where groups of students often congregate to smoke, chat and take study breaks. Smokers are required to stand a certain number of feet away from the entrance when smoking, but as of now this rarely happens. No student should be forced to inhale cigarette smoke if they don’t want to, whether they have asthma or not, and this fact alone makes revamping of the university’s smoking policy worthy of serious consideration.

An all-out ban of smoking at Tufts, however, is not the only approach to solving this problem, and a ban on smoking would punish some students and employees for doing a perfectly legal activity that is often incredibly difficult to quit. People smoke cigarettes for a wide variety of reasons, but of these, one of the most frequently cited is stress reduction. If a student is cramming for an exam in the library and would like to step outside to take smoke break and calm down, who are we to tell them to stop? As long as they are standing far away enough from paths and doorways that they do not disturb other students, it is not the place of the university to keep them from doing as they wish. Rather than passing judgment on the personal choices of students, staff and faculty members, we should emphasize education on these issues and push initiatives such as providing nicotine gum and more guidance for quitting.

Banning tobacco on campus would force employees and students who smoke to leave campus several times each day in order to do something that allows them to comfortably live their lives and avoid the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. Quitting can be a long process, and going “cold turkey” can be damaging to mental health and stress management. Forcing people to go through this trouble could impact their performance at work and in the classroom.

Though the concerns of students advocating that Tufts go tobacco-free are completely valid, there are better ways for us to address this issue. Before we rush to punish smokers for what is a legal and often innocuous behavior, we should take action to ensure that the rights of all students are respected.


35 Responses

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  1. Tufts nonsmoker
    Apr 13, 2015 - 11:42 PM

    These people who want to ban smoking are fundamentally self-righteous. They believe they are better, that they are smarter, that they know better. I say they can fuck right off. No one is forcing them to smoke. This piffle about second hand smoke is just that: piffle. As if the campus has a cloud of cigarette smoke hanging over it at all times. Give me a break. This is about people trying to force what they want on other people. They should not be allowed to.

  2. literably
    Apr 14, 2015 - 12:39 AM

    Every day as I walk up the hill I’m forced to breathe in the toxins of the unfeeling monsters that choose to drive their killmobiles around the campus each day. This is harmful to my physical health, but particularly harmful to my mental health. College is supposed to be a safe zone where I remain intellectually calm and happy. The air around Tufts will not be safe until we divest from the carbon pollutants that are slowly killing us each day. No more cars on campus! Let our legs and lungs be free from the corruption of these metal boxes.

    • Jack Listerio
      Apr 14, 2015 - 09:06 AM

      OSHA also took on the passive smoking fraud and this is what came of it:

      Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence: Third Edition

      This sorta says it all

      These limits generally are based on assessments of health risk and calculations of concentrations that are associated with what the regulators believe to be negligibly small risks. The calculations are made after first identifying the total dose of a chemical that is safe (poses a negligible risk) and then determining the concentration of that chemical in the medium of concern that should not be exceeded if exposed individuals (typically those at the high end of media contact) are not to incur a dose greater than the safe one.

      So OSHA standards are what is the guideline for what is acceptable ”SAFE LEVELS”


      All this is in a small sealed room 9×20 and must occur in ONE HOUR.

      For Benzo[a]pyrene, 222,000 cigarettes.

      “For Acetone, 118,000 cigarettes.

      “Toluene would require 50,000 packs of simultaneously smoldering cigarettes.

      Acetaldehyde or Hydrazine, more than 14,000 smokers would need to light up.

      “For Hydroquinone, “only” 1250 cigarettes.

      For arsenic 2 million 500,000 smokers at one time.

      The same number of cigarettes required for the other so called chemicals in shs/ets will have the same outcomes.

      So, OSHA finally makes a statement on shs/ets :

      Field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that under normal conditions, the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELS.) as referenced in the Air Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000)…It would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded.” -Letter From Greg Watchman, Acting Sec’y, OSHA.

      Why are their any smoking bans at all they have absolutely no validity to the courts or to science!

  3. Jack Listerio
    Apr 14, 2015 - 09:06 AM

    Look who first invented the Passive smoking Fraud

    Hitler’s Anti-Tobacco Campaign

    One particularly vile individual, Karl Astel — upstanding president of Jena University, poisonous anti-Semite, euthanasia fanatic, SS officer, war criminal and tobacco-free Germany enthusiast — liked to walk up to smokers and tear cigarettes from their unsuspecting mouths. (He committed suicide when the war ended, more through disappointment than fear of hanging.) It comes as little surprise to discover that the phrase “passive smoking” (Passivrauchen) was coined not by contemporary American admen, but by Fritz Lickint, the author of the magisterial 1100-page Tabak und Organismus (“Tobacco and the Organism”), which was produced in collaboration with the German AntiTobacco League.

    That’s fine company are so called public health depts. keep with ehh!

    History can shed so much lite on todays own movement it just amazes the mind………..

    Hitler Youth had anti-smoking patrols all over Germany, outside movie houses and in entertainment areas, sports fields etc., and smoking was strictly forbidden to these millions of German youth growing up under Hitler.”

    Something along the lines of the Hitler Youf:
    Proctor (1997) continues that “throughout this period, magazines like Genussgifte (Poisons of taste or habit), Auf der Wacht (On Guard), and Reine Luft (Pure air) published a regular drumbeat against this ‘insidious poison’ [tobacco], along with articles charting the unhealthful effects of alcohol, teenage dancing, cocaine, and other vices. Dozens of books and pamphlets denounced the ‘smoking slavery’ or ‘cultural degeneration’ feared from the growth of tobacco use. Tobacco was branded ‘the enemy of world peace’, and there was even talk of ‘tobacco terror’ and ‘tobacco capitalism’ …. The Hitler Youth and the League of German Girls both published antismoking propaganda, and the Association for the Struggle against the Tobacco Danger organized counseling centers where the ‘tobacco ill’ could seek help” (p.456-457); “Hitler Youth had anti-smoking patrols all over Germany, outside movie houses and in entertainment areas, sports fields etc., and smoking was strictly forbidden to these millions of German youth growing up under Hitler.”

  4. Albino Squirrel
    Apr 14, 2015 - 10:39 AM

    it should be noted that ‘Jack’ is likely a paid shill, based on the sheer volume of smoking-related stories he has chosen to comment on across the web.

    and scottE is shill #2 who only replies to tobacco articles on the web. or maybe it’s the same person. citing articles from 1992. so transparent.

    • ScottEwing
      Apr 14, 2015 - 06:11 PM

      Jack is a freedom fighter. He may overstate his case, but his information is accurate. Sure must suck to have someone with the guts to throw facts in the face of your propaganda.

    • ScottEwing
      Apr 14, 2015 - 06:14 PM

      Here’s where the ACA gets its “scientific” data:

      • Adam Druit
        Apr 19, 2015 - 05:10 PM
        • ScottEwing
          Apr 20, 2015 - 04:11 AM

          The CDC is the lap dog of Big-Pharma. Keep on drinking the kool-aid Adam.

          • Adam Druit
            Apr 20, 2015 - 03:03 PM

            I’m frankly tired of this, for lack of a better term, mindless drivel. Maybe, maybe, if we were talking about the FDA could I see an argument about them “being the lap dog of big pharma.” But the CDC?

            There is simply no justification for your outlandish claim. How is there any evidence of the CDC being in the pocket of Big Pharma? Let’s look at their leadership, and whether they have any previous employment ties to a pharmaceutical company:

            *NOTE- If an individual is listed as (previous: CDC) that means their entire employment history is at the CDC.

            Thomas Frieden (Director)- NO CONNECTION (previous: CDC and WHO)
            Ileana Arias (Principal Deputy Director)- NO CONNECTION (previous: RA at SUNY Stony Brook, Professor U Georgia, Athens)
            Sherri A Berger (COO)- NO CONNECTION (previous: CDC)
            John Auerbach (Associate Director of Policy)- NO CONNECTION (previous: Distinguished Professor at Northeastern University, Commissioner for Public Health in MA)
            Ursula Bauer (Director NCCDPHP at the CDC)- NO CONNECTION (previous- NY State Department of Health)
            Beth Bell (Director National Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases)- NO CONNECTION (previous- CDC)
            Coleen Boyle (Director National Center on Birth Defects)- NO CONNECTION (previous: Professor U Mass)
            Pat Breysse (Director, NCEH)- NO CONNECTION (previous: Johns Hopkins)
            Katherine Daniel (Associate Director for Communication)- NO CONNECTION (previous: Harvard)
            Kathleen Ethier (Director Eval Office)- NO CONNECTION (previous: Yale)
            Debra Houry (Director National Center for Injury Prevention)- NO CONNECTION (previous Emory University)
            John Howard (Director, Occupational Safety and Health)- NO CONNECTION (previous: California Department of Industrial Relations)
            Edward Hunter (Director, CDC Washington)- NO CONNECTION (previous CDC)
            Michael Iademarco (Director, CSELS)- NO CONNECTION (previous: DHHS under Bush)
            Robin Ikeda (Director, Office of Noncommunicable Diseases)- NO CONNECTION (previous: CDC, NCIPC)
            Harold Jaffe (Associate Director for Science)- NO CONNECTION (previous Oxford University)
            Tom Kenyon (Director, Center for Global Health)- NO CONNECTION (previous: University of Arizona)
            Rima Khabbaz (Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases)- NO CONNECTION (previous: CDC, Emory University)
            Leandris Liburd (Associate Director for Minority Health)- NO CONNECTION (previous: CDC)
            Reginald Mebane (Director, Office of Diversity Management)- NO CONNECTION (previous: FedEx [I doubt you consider FedEx as “Big Pharma”])
            Jonathan Mermin (Director, National Center for HIV/AIDS)- NO CONNECTION (previous CDC)
            Judith Monroe (Director, Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support)- NO CONNECTION (previous: Indiana State Health Commissioner)
            Stephen Redd (Director, Office of Public Health Preparedness)- NO CONNECTION (previous: Rear Admiral and Assistant Surgeon General)
            Chesley Richards (CDC Deputy Director for Public Health Scientific Services)- NO CONNECTION (previous: Chief of General Internal Medicine at Medical College of Georgia)
            Karyn Richman (Acting Director of CDC Washington Office)- NO CONNECTION (previous: DHHS, Office of Management and Budget)
            Charles Rothwell (Acting Director National Center for Health Statistics)- NO CONNECTION (previous: Officer in US Marine Corps)
            Anne Schuchat (Assistant Surgeon General, Director NIP, NCID)- NO CONNECTION (previous: WHO, Professor, Beijing Center for Disease Prevention, NYU’s Manhattan VA Hospital)
            Carmen Villar (Chief of Staff)- NO CONNECTION (previous, CDC)

            So, there you have it. The entirety of the CDC’s leadership and their background, and no connections to Big Pharma. Again, if you’re talking FDA, maybe there’s a case. But this is the CDC, and is very much not an industry shill.

            But please, show me where this connection and grand conspiracy is.

          • ScottEwing
            Apr 20, 2015 - 05:19 PM

            Thou dost protest too much methinks, shill.

          • Adam Druit
            Apr 20, 2015 - 10:04 PM

            What?? I have no connection to smoking, the pharmaceutical industry, or the CDC. Look at my posting history.

            You, on the other hand, have a clear history of attempting to obfuscate the truth regarding smoking. I give you an article that cites specific studies. You attack the organization as a “lapdog of big pharma.” I point out that none of the governing body of the organization have any personal connection to big pharma. You say I “protest too much.” What would you prefer me do- accept what you say (without the slightest shred of evidence, I may add), contrary to the vast majority of evidence, without question?

            I’m guessing that you’re just a troll, interested in getting a rise out of others (given that you’ve performed next to no research and provided no contrary evidence).

          • ScottEwing
            Apr 21, 2015 - 04:07 PM

            Tobacco Controls’ lies don’t work on me. Save your twaddle for the stupid people. As for facts, interested parties should click on the link I posted earlier. Shills can continue to delude themselves.

    • ScottEwing
      Apr 20, 2015 - 04:16 AM

      1992- When the EPA lied, as proven in Federal court, and the stupid people fell for it.

  5. Student
    Apr 14, 2015 - 12:27 PM

    The point of creating a tobacco free campus is not to entirely eliminate secondhand smoke or other exposures to health risks. The major focus is to provide smoking cessation resources free through health services and to recoginze that as a major research institution and world renowned university, tufts should strive to create the healthiest environment for its students and faculty. The ban on smoking is not to create a Nazi police state as described in earlier comments as TUPD cannot and will not be enforcing any regulations. This movement is rather a step towards recognizing that tobacco undoubtedly has serious health implications for its users and those surrounding them.

    • ScottEwing
      Apr 14, 2015 - 06:08 PM

      Nonsense. Secondhand smoke as a viable health risk has been shown to be a fraud over and over. I refer back to Jacks’ post about what OSHA had to say. The worst threat to public health are people such as yourself that keep on drinking the kool-aid. Unless, of course, you are a paid shill. If you aren’t getting paid, then you’re just an useful idiot.

  6. Student
    Apr 14, 2015 - 12:29 PM

    Hundreds of universities across the country are becoming tobacco-free. Are we to assume that all of these colleges did so with the intention of taking rights away from students, faculty, and employees? I would not consider them self-righteous at all. Tobacco-free policies are not punative; if a tobacco-free policy was enacted at tufts, there would be cessation tools and help offered through health services. anyone who wants to continue smoking could do so, but just wouldnt be allowed to smoke on tufts-owned property. This policy is good for the entire student body. If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t have been enacted by so many universities.

    • Tufts nonsmoker
      Apr 14, 2015 - 12:33 PM

      That is some of the dumbest fucking logic I’ve ever heard. “Other people do it so it must be right.” Just as you don’t want to let people think for themselves about whether to smoke or not, you don’t want to think for YOURSELF. Help through health services can be offered without a smoking ban, though I’d question that as a use of student tuition and fees dollars, which are high enough already.

      • Student
        Apr 14, 2015 - 12:47 PM

        Did you read this person’s statements or did you just scan and then say whatever you wanted to say? This commenter was obviously not blindly advocating for a smoke free campus based on what other colleges have done. The person clearly stated that the policy is a good one, and is likely the reason why so many other colleges have taken it on as well.

        • Tufts nonsmoker
          Apr 14, 2015 - 02:39 PM

          “This policy is good for the entire student body. If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t have been enacted by so many universities.”

          No, the commenter had no other rationale other than “other colleges have done it.” There were no other arguments. The one about cessation tools and help offered through health services is irrelevant–that can be done without a smoking ban.

  7. Student Athlete and Non-Smoker
    Apr 14, 2015 - 02:12 PM

    Tufts like many institutions across the nation should become tobacco-free to create a healthy environment for all those on campus. Tobacco caused diseases are the leading cause of preventable death in this country and tobacco use not only puts the user at risk but also bystanders who are exposed second hand smoke. The facts are “Every year in the U.S. over 392,000 people die from tobacco-caused disease, making it the leading cause of preventable death. Another 50,000 people die from exposure to secondhand smoke.”- American Lung Association.

    Sure, we think are young and invincible now but tobacco use can become a lifelong addiction that can lead to a myriad of health issues that can also affect people who have simply been exposed to second hand smoke. Let’s end smoking on our campus. “As of April 2, 2015, there are at least 1,543 100% smokefree campuses. Of these, 1,043 are 100% tobacco-free, and 633 prohibit the use of e-cigarettes anywhere on campus.”- Americans For Non-Smoker’s Rights. Smoking is a hard addiction to quit but if a campus ban on tobacco is coupled with smoking cessation programs, the health of our entire student body will be improved.

    What are we waiting for Tufts? The time to go tobacco, smoke and e-cigarette free is now!

    If you or someone you know is trying to quit smoking here are some resources to help the process:

  8. Disappointed
    Apr 14, 2015 - 02:43 PM

    This article demonstrates the lack of quality of articles that the Daily has been releasing lately. It is under-researched and the opinions reflected in it do not follow a logical basis. Yes, it is an opinion article but it is poorly researched at best and shows a lack of understanding of what a tobacco free campus would mean. It has redefined the process by which a campus would become tobacco free it to fit its argument with absolutely zero research. If Tufts were to ban tobacco on campus it would be a gradual process not an instant rule that would punish students and employees. I am sickened by the lack of journalistic integrity in this article.

  9. Brian
    Apr 14, 2015 - 03:42 PM

    Harvard recently banned smoking; might be interesting to see if that is or isn’t going well.

  10. ScottEwing
    Apr 14, 2015 - 06:05 PM

    A link to other links that lay out tobacco controls’ lies.

  11. Stephen Helfer
    Apr 16, 2015 - 09:53 AM

    The “Tobacco Free Campus” is coming down from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. No student, teacher, faculty member, or visitor will be allowed to use a tobacco product on the institution’s property. Refusal to comply could be considered “criminal trespass.” The HHS official in charge of this initiative is Howard Koh. When he was the Director of Public Health in Massachusetts, he said at a meeting I attended at the Harvard School of Public Health, that he had considered asking the Commonwealth to require that all cigarette packs bear the phrase “You are the scum of the earth.” For a physician and a government medical official to have such contempt for such a large portion of the public is criminal. (Cambridge Citizens for Smokers’ Rights)

    • Albino Squirrel
      Apr 17, 2015 - 06:49 AM

      you paid shills are amazingly transparent. maybe if you ever commented on any other type of article, you’d have a chance at fooling someone.

  12. Vinny Gracchus
    Apr 17, 2015 - 07:19 PM

    Reject smoking bans. There is no health risk to others from second hand smoke.

    • Albino Squirrel
      Apr 20, 2015 - 07:28 AM

      lol this guy. protects his post history, but google turns up the slew of smoking articles he’s trolled. so many lies to attempt to sway the argument.

      • Vinny Gracchus
        Apr 20, 2015 - 06:33 PM

        Albino, Making comments on articles isn’t trolling. It’s engaging in the political process. Unfortunately ad hominem attacks and suppressing dissent is a classic tobacco control tactic. You are mastering that suppression well. Please note that while my posts may disagree with the tobacco control template they are not lies. I present an opinion founded in the results of empirical studies. You assert that those who differ from the tobacco control line are paid shills for Big Tobacco. That in itself is propaganda. It could be countered that tobacco control activists often employ paid bloggers to put forward their position, utilize government funds to lobby government agencies which violates the law, and suppress the results of studies that expose their manipulation of data. There is no need for me to lie, the facts speak for themselves. Those can be Googled too…

        Following are examples of studies about the health risks from second hand smoke you seek to suppress:

        Multicenter Case-Control Study of Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke and Lung Cancer in Europe, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 90, No. 19, October 7, 1998:

        “Results: ETS exposure during childhood was not associated with an increased risk of lung cancer (odds ratio [OR] for ever exposure = 0.78; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.64-0.96). The OR for ever exposure to spousal ETS was 1.16 (95% CI = 0.93-1.44). No clear dose-response relationship could be demonstrated for cumulative spousal ETS exposure. The OR for ever exposure to workplace ETS was 1.17 (95% CI = 0.94-1.45), with possible evidence of increasing risk for increasing duration of exposure. No increase in risk was detected in subjects whose exposure to spousal or workplace ETS ended more than 15 years earlier. Ever exposure to ETS from other sources was not associated with lung cancer risk. Risks from combined exposure to spousal and workplace ETS were higher for squamous cell carcinoma and small-cell carcinoma than for adenocarcinoma, but the differences were not statistically significant.”

        Enstrom James E, Kabat Geoffrey C, Smith Davey. Environmental tobacco smoke and tobacco related mortality in a prospective study of Californians, 1960-98 BMJ 2003; 326:1057.

        This study found “No significant associations were found for current or former exposure to environmental tobacco smoke before or after adjusting for seven confounders and before or after excluding participants with pre-existing disease. No significant associations were found during the shorter follow up periods of 1960-5, 1966-72, 1973-85, and 1973-98.”

        “Conclusions: The results do not support a causal relation between environmental tobacco smoke and tobacco related mortality, although they do not rule out a small effect. The association between exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and coronary heart disease and lung cancer may be considerably weaker than generally believed.”

        • Albino Squirrel
          Apr 21, 2015 - 07:43 AM

          internet comment sections are not a ‘political process’ it’s social media – on a website of a college you did not attend. unlike the rest of us – go peddle your twaddle elsewhere.

          • Vinny Gracchus
            Apr 21, 2015 - 10:56 PM

            You have an extremely narrow view of ‘political process.’ Social media about bans that restrict lawful activities certainly are political, especially since they are funded by national political action campaigns. If you definition of ‘twaddle’ is dissent, so be it.

          • Albino Squirrel
            Apr 22, 2015 - 09:36 AM

            the only thing here funded by a political action campaign are the 4 industry-sponsored posters from outside the tufts community decrying the discussion of a smoking ban on a private campus that doesn’t otherwise involve them. LOL your pathetic ‘career’ as an astroturfer:

          • Vinny Gracchus
            Apr 22, 2015 - 05:31 PM

            Sounds like you’re describing yourself. Attacking someone just because you disagree with them is pathetic. Too bad you can’t debate the actual issues.


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