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University Bans Smoking on Entire Campus

G. Clay Whittaker
Posted: January 17, 2012

Smoke a cigar and get kicked out of college? This could conceivably be the case as students of Florida’s Nova Southeastern University are facing a comprehensive, campus-wide smoking ban set to take effect in six months.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported over the weekend that Nova’s new anti-smoking measure will prohibit puffing in all campus buildings, outdoor areas and even inside vehicles on campus grounds. Repeated violations could result in dismissal from the college.

“We’re not making the penalties for smokers any worse than other policy violations,” said Tom Vitucci, director of campus recreation for Nova. According to Vitucci, the university plans on treating infractions of the smoking ban in the same manner as it would treat any other violation of university regulations, so multiple offenses could in fact lead to expulsion for students or termination of faculty staff.

The Fort Lauderdale university told the Sun-Sentinel that about 75 percent of surveyed students and employees support the ban, and 9 percent called themselves smokers.

“We tried the smoking zone concept and we found that it wasn’t working,” Vitucci said. “A total ban was more manageable and more impactful.”

This is just one example of a rising trend. According to the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Association, over 200 schools join the wave of universities banning smoking in just the last year.

This story first appeared in the January 10 issue of Cigar Insider.

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Comments   16 comment(s)

Michael J. McFadden January 17, 2012 6:37pm ET

I have no problem with Universities playing mommy and daddy for the children at their schools (although I think the "children" in question ought to have a BIG problem with it!)

My problem comes when they use lies to promote the behavior controls they're after. There is no "protecting nonsmokers from secondhand smoke" going on. There's no threat, not in any actual English usage sense of the word, from the exposures to wisps of smoke that students are getting on campuses nowadays. Even if you accept the Antismokers' own figures, the EPA Report, once you adjust for durations and intensity of exposure for the average non-smoking student you'd be speaking of roughly ONE extra lung cancer for every TWO HUNDRED MILLION STUDENT-YEARS of exposure. (Calculated on the basis of a 19% increase over a base nonsmokers' rate of .4% after 40 years of continuous indoor exposure and accounting for outdoor dilution.)

Even with U of CA's coterie of perpetual grad students I don't think waving the "threat" of outdoor campus exposures counts as something I'd characterize as the truth. The campus bans are simply a behavior modification tool: meant to treat the children as "lab rats" who can be "shocked" into the preferred behavior of not smoking by simply making it more difficult for them to smoke comfortably. The social engineers don't usually like to admit it, but that's really what it's all about.

Michael J. McFadden,
Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"


Connor Holland January 17, 2012 7:03pm ET

This is upsetting. I am in college at the University of Southern Mississippi and we are slowly making the move toward the same thing. First it was smoking zones, and they just move to smaller, far more uncomfortable smoking zones. If you want a good cigar, you have to go huddle around with 5 or more cigarette smokers around a little cigarette butt container. I was at a community college once that really did it right. Instead of small, uncomfortable smoking zones they made several large, very comfortable smoking zones that were great places to enjoy a smoke. Well kept, comfortable benches, and beautiful trees and bushes secluding us from the rest of the campus. Truly the best way to handle smoking zones. That is what I wish campuses would go for. Instead, I fear in the next year or two I will be having to walk off of campus property just to have a cigar.


Peter Loman — Calgary, Alberta, Canada,  —  January 17, 2012 8:27pm ET

Ok, since the school is so concerned with setting and enforcing public health policy, it now has to follow the argument all the way through and ban promotion, sales and consumption of alcohols, fast foods and sodas on it's property. Oops, perhaps they get revenues from leases, etc. to purveyors of these sinful consumables?


STEVEN ROBERTS — CALGARY, AB, CANADA,  —  January 17, 2012 11:12pm ET

thats pretty lame, high school i can understand but college or university? May as well ban smoking on my own property


joel hoffman — scranton, pa, usa,  —  January 17, 2012 11:25pm ET

nonsmokers rights group? what about smokers rights? i guess who ever yells the loudest wins these days .compromise is a dirty word. I weep for this country its best days are in the rear view mirror


Marty MCCARTER — Murfreesboro, Tn, United states,  —  January 18, 2012 12:27am ET

My campus recently underwent a similar ban...In July of 2011, a waning period went into effect for the whole campus; smoking was no longer "permitted" on campus yet it was "tolerated" until the full ban went into effect on Jan. 1 this year. In contrast, our ban does not include vehicles on campus...even when parked it is OK to smoke inside the car, windows down and all. I must say, I'm ok with this (Personally). I no longer reside on campus and do not smoke cigarettes at all so I'm not affected. However, what is so wrong with students outside the dorms, in the grass common areas enjoying a cigar? See, it was not just cigarettes banned...indeed, ALL forms of tobacco are now 100% prohibited from use on campus...and believe it or not, even the smokeless, tobaccoless "E-Cigarettes" of today are banned right along with the former. So, it seems as though it is not just tobacco they're after, it looks like it may soon be socially frowned-upon to even look as though you're smoking or even thinking about it.


James Howard January 18, 2012 4:56am ET

I go to school at a community college (Hinds of Rankin). We have designated smoking zones which seem to work. From what I've seen and experienced, most non-smokers don't particularly mind the smoke as they know where the zones are and that there will be smokers in those zones. Most people on my campus know that if they go to these zones, they will be around the smoke. As far as I am aware, there are only two cigar smokers on campus, the dean and myself. I use my rights to smoke in these zones quite often, as does the dean. Majority of smokers on the campus are cigarette smokers with cigarillo smokers mixed in. I hope we remain fairly friendly to smokers because we all deserve the same rights as non-smokers. I've found no evidence supporting a few whisps of cigar or cigarette smoke harming someone's health.


J. Jonik January 18, 2012 7:06am ET

It is troubling that Academic Institutions tolerate bans on "smoking", i.e., the behavior of those who think and are told their smoking products are just tobacco. Mainstream corporate media ought be rejected as anyone's teacher....on campus or off.

A college or university (certainly students and faculty) is expected to check to see if bans are justified, or if the "studies" that support the bans aren't fraudulent.
If administration is in the pockets of the under-the-radar parts of the cigarette industry (pesticides, chlorine, ag industries, complicit pharms, their insurers and investors, etc.) then administrations will go for the “smoking bans” and not for banning or even mentioning deadly industrial contaminants of most cigarettes. Universities nowadays are about business, not education.

1) Is it tobacco that does the harm, or is it the many pesticide residues, the dioxin-creating chlorine, the PO-210 radiation from phosphate fertilizers, and/or any of the over 100 UnTested non-tobacco additives manufacturers select from to create their secret recipes? There is a crucial difference between tobacco, and Contaminated Tobacco.

2) How many of those who advocate bans on the victims of those products are part of the cigarette industry via additives, contaminants, insuring, or investing? We are talking about some very big pesticide, petrochemical, chlorine, pharmaceutical interests. Do such interests have any economic involvement with anti-smoking colleges and universities? Do any NOT?

3) How many studies of harms of “smoking” did the basic, essential step of defining and analyzing what was being researched? None, apparently. We do not know what was studied. Was it just tobacco?

Or, was it any of the brands that contain no tobacco at all but, instead, fake tobacco made in patented ways from many kinds of industrial waste cellulose?

Or was it a typical cigarette packed with residues of any of hundreds of tobacco pesticides, with those dioxin-creating chlorine contaminants, with the radiation, and with any of those non-tobacco additives?

4) Many or most “smoking-related” or “tobacco-related” diseases are impossible to be caused by smoke from any plant. Which of those diseases are known and likely to be caused by the pesticides, dioxins, and radiation, etc.? What might professors in medicine, biology and other sciences say about this?

5) Many tobacco pesticides are made by top Pharmaceuticals (Dow, DuPont, Bayer, etc.) which do not want to be implicated in the liability situation….not to mention the PR disaster. How many Pharms have ever been brought into “smoking and health” hearings to explain themselves? If a college/university gets funding from chlorine industries (pharms, oil, pesticides, plastics, etc., or their insurers and investors) it is probably "anti smoking" instead of Anti Cigarette Contaminating.

6) Why haven’t all those known carcinogens and toxins, and even burn accelerants, been banned? Because it would open up a monster, long-overdue liability situation for the perpetrators. Because it would indict chlorine, the life (death) blood of so many toxic industries.? Because it would spoil the plans by some Pharms to eliminate natural public-domain tobacco from competition to their patented nicotine products. Because it would expose many medical professionals as being complicit or incompetent and complicit. Because it would grievously embarrass, if not indict, public officials who let this disaster unfold for decades. Likely, all of the above.

7) Where, in legislative debates, hearings, and trials is the question: “How do you know it’s tobacco?”

Google up “Fauxbacco” for a collection of references for the points noted here, and more. Much is in the ‘I-Didn’t-Know-That!” category. A typical cigarette is more similar to an industrial waste incinerator…except worse due to the complexity and
number of harmful substances, and to the delivery method.

One bottom line is---what SHOULD be banned is the manufacture, import and sale of Pesticide Pegs, Dioxin Dowels, and Radiation Rods. The conveniently-“sinful” tobacco plant, like any well-demonized smoker, is being scapegoated for monumental crimes by private industry. The “no-smoking” crusade, as “wholesome” as it is painted, is an affront to basic principles of science, medicine, and law.

PS: This is not to say that even the purest organic tobacco is completely safe. Nothing is or can be. This is to say that the harms of smoking tobacco have been expanded enormously, off the charts, to the point of virtually inevitable harm, by the non-tobacco adulterants govt officials permit in most smoking products.
Ironically, benefits of tobacco/nicotine (stress relief, appetite suppression, digestive relief, alertness, etc.) remain despite the pollutants. It’s like poisoned water still being capable of relieving thirst.


Preston Weiters Jr. — Jersey City, NJ, US,  —  January 18, 2012 7:57am ET

1/18/12, As a cigar smoker (20yrs), I'm 64, I stopped going to bars since the NJ smoke ban in 2006. 2 things happened: the bars lost business & I don't have to risk driving home. 2nd hand smoke is akin to global warming; both are driven by hysteria.


Preston Weiters Jr. — Jersey City, NJ, US,  —  January 18, 2012 8:04am ET

1/18/12, I'm 64 & smoked cigars for 20 years. When the smoke ban in bars went into effect in NJ, in 2006, 2 things happened: the bars lost business (it's a dying trade in Jersey City)& I don't risk driving home. this whole business is akin to global warming; driven by hysteria.


Michael Gabrail — Richfield, OH, United States,  —  January 18, 2012 11:25am ET

Guys... Little late... It's already happened... My alma mater, Miami University in Oxford, OH, has had a campus-wide smoking ban for three years...


Phillip Butler — Timonium, MD, US,  —  January 18, 2012 4:10pm ET

This was done more than a year ago at the university where I work. Good way for them to make money at $75 a ticket. Now the prez who started it all, or who at least went along with this PC insanity, is now gone, ready to strike at the next place he's running. It was a political stroke of madness. Of course, the darn cigarette smokers didn't help, smoking at doorways and throwing butts on the ground even though their ashtrays were right next to them.


Chris Klim January 18, 2012 5:07pm ET

It's a shame... My whole City just started "Smoke Free Florence" which bans smoking anywhere within the city limits unless it's on your private proerty. Francis Marion University, our local college is smoke free too. What happened to our rights?


joseph bertoni — irwin, pennsylvania, united states,  —  January 18, 2012 10:09pm ET

Communism plain and simple.


Taylor Franklin January 23, 2012 1:35am ET

Yet another "social engineering/brain-washing" experiment to see how gullible and complicit people really are . . . programming.

The Nazis in Germany did exactly the same; go figure.


Phillip Butler — Timonium, MD, US,  —  February 1, 2012 3:15pm ET

I guess it's time to start planning my retirement in a state (or another country) that still believes in individual rights and responsibility. And where cigars are not outrageously taxed.


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