Sunday, January 11, 2009
Anti-Smoking Fascists Temporarily Stymied At Southern Utah University; Petition To Make Entire Campus Smoke-Free Doesn't Get Enough Signatures
A petition campaign begun in November 2008 by anti-smoking extremists to institute a campus-wide ban on smoking at Southern Utah University campus did not yield the expected results. Full story published by the St. George Spectrum.
"We were hoping to reach our goal of 3,000 signatures, but only obtained nearly 1,500," said SUU prevention specialist with REAL Peer Health Educators Nikki Gwin. "We are considering continuing the petition into the spring semester, but it is completely up to the students who are involved in the program. It is their petition and their decision to continue the petition."
The petition began during the Great American Smokeout Campaign and was passed around through the REAL Peer Health Educators, who then approached students asking if they would support the policy to prohibit smoking on all college property, including residence halls. The activists have received both positive and negative feedback.
The activists discovered that there are already 160 smoke-free campuses in the United States. Brigham Young University is the only smoke-free campus in Utah. So the group decided to try to make SUU smoke-free as well, even though no other Utah colleges besides BYU have successfully implemented a complete smoke-free policy on their campuses.
Even though current policy permits no indoor smoking on campus, that's not good enough for the activists. The current SUU policy attempts to uphold the Utah Clean Air Act, which states that students are to smoke 25 feet from any campus building. The campus has even deployed smoker poles, which have been placed 25 feet from the buildings' entrances. Another possible compromise entails creating designated benches or areas for smokers so that non-smokers can exit and enter buildings without exposure to secondhand smoke.
But even though the activists pay lip service to individual rights, they play the "public health" card in their effort to promote prohibition. "...Once an individual's action begins to endanger the lives of others, it is no longer a matter of individual right or convenience," Gwin said. Of course, this completely disregards the fact that second-hand smoke cannot possibly pose a threat to public health on the SUU campus at present since smoking is not permitted in any enclosed area. Exposure to second-hand smoke outdoors is transitory, and is merely an irritant rather than a health hazard. Those who want to avoid it can easily do so.
The threat posed by second-hand smoke is overexaggerated. The Smoker's Club website addresses the ten biggest lies about smoking. More fallacies are exposed by the Smoking Aloud website. And on his Tobacco Analysis blog, Dr. Michael Siegel reveals that when Montgomery College in Maryland implemented a campus-wide smoking ban, smoking students went off campus and disrupted adjacent neighborhoods by congregating and littering. [Ed. Note: Get a load of this. Anti-smoking extremists throughout the country, in their desperation to impose prohibition upon all of us, have now invented a new "hazard"; third-hand smoke. Soon as I research this newest scam, I'll do a post on it.]
REAL Peers has since talked about other avenues to take, such as surveying students on whether they would prefer a smoke-free campus or not. But although the activists are a bit discouraged, they are not willing to give up yet.