Friday, September 19, 2014

Banning Tobacco & Cursing on Campus, and the Gateway Drug

Two anecdotal stories from readers of the blog:

Banning Tobacco and Cursing

There was a campus wide meeting featuring some national health dude who goes around advocating tobacco free campuses. I showed up at the meeting and he was taking questions. Before my question, he was explaining that he encourages people to explain tobacco free policies in something like the following way:

"Look, we aren't trying to disrespect you or anything, but when you throw cigarette butts on the ground, smoke in non-designated smoking areas, or spit tobacco in the toilets, you are desecrating and polluting our beautiful campus that we all must share. This is about respect."

I raised my hand and basically said the following: I'm really glad you're here talking about respect. I think that's important. I like your example about desecrating the campus. I'd like to give a similar example. I, for one, don't like it when people use crude, disrespectful language on campus. I don't like to hear kids dropping the f-bomb as they walk around campus, or using language that is unkind to others. This sort of language creates a sort of noise pollution that, in a way, desecrates the campus. I hear it every week. Yet, I do not feel at all inclined to regulate it, or take away their right to use it. I tolerate it. Why should non-smokers not tolerate smokers, especially when they are smoking outside and the trace that we non-smokers inhale is so small that it is probably comparable to the amount of fumes we inhale from cars driving on the street?

To the guys credit, he said that he'd never thought about it that way before [?!] and that he was going to think about it more. Then he added that he'd probably revert back to emphasizing the health risks of smoking. 

I also gave the same argument when the university asked for email responses to the possibility of going tobacco free. I never thought I'd be on the side of smokers.

The Gateway Drug:

I was just listening to NPR while taking a shower tonight. It was "NPR Live from the State Fair." They were doing a Q and A with some sports medicine doctor....and someone asked him about his thoughts regarding the current state debate regarding the legalization of marijuana. And this is what he said:
"I'm not in favor of marijuana's legalization. Some people say that it isn't that harmful, but the more we talk about legalizing it, the more kids will think it's OK. And kids smoking marijuana is not OK and kids need to know that. There's a really big concern that smoking marijuana is a gateway drug to cigarette smoking, and that is not OK."

Yep, only on crazy, liberal NPR is marijuana a gateway drug, not to cocaine, or meth, or acid....but to the horrific evils of tobacco! You can't make this stuff up.

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