Snuff already

Georgia should make its entire university system smoke-free

  • Follow Editorials

Imagine a member of the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents issued this proposal:


“Henceforth, any student, staff member or visitor on any of the state’s 31 public college campuses would have permission to spew, into the air, unlimited amounts of formaldehyde, arsenic, benzene, asbestos and dozens of other known cancer-causing agents all over campus – in every classroom, dorm room, dining hall and library.”

You’d probably think that regent was out of his mind. If anything, you’d want someone to propose the exact opposite.

Which is precisely what Regent Thomas Hopkins is proposing.

Dr. Hopkins, an orthopedic surgeon, is calling for a ban of all tobacco products on every campus in Georgia. His reasoning isn’t hard to figure out. Those chemicals we listed above are some of the more than 4,000 substances found in tobacco smoke – almost none of which are 100-percent safe to breathe.

Smoking already is banned inside facilities that are owned or leased by the state of Georgia. Dr. Hopkins’ proposal would extend the ban to outdoor areas.

“I think it is the wave of the future,” Regents Chairman Philip Wilheit told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I think as regents we have a responsibility to our students to do what’s best for them and their health.”

“They can do what they want, but they can’t do it on our campuses,” Dr. Hopkins said.

They can’t do it on other campuses, either. Policies prohibit smoking on public college campuses in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Iowa. In Georgia, private school Emory University has instituted a campus-wide smoking ban.

Last year, the Ohio Board of Regents unanimously approved a resolution recommending that each board of trustees in Ohio’s university system consider implementing its own tobacco-free campus policy. Miami University in Ohio already is tobacco-free.

According to the University System of Ohio, in 2006 an estimated 34 colleges and universities nationwide were 100-percent smoke-free; as of July 2012 that figure rose to 774 campuses.

It’s at least 775 now – in August, the second of Georgia Regents University’s two Augusta campuses went smoke-free.

Georgia’s nonsmoking college students should have a reasonable expectation that if they’re frequenting a public campus to seek a quality education they shouldn’t have to endure someone’s hazardous habit that is inherently dangerous to people’s health.

According to a spring survey conducted by the American College Health Association, not even 14 percent of students reported smoking cigarettes in the previous 30 days. That means about 86 percent of students have the right idea: Just don’t smoke.

Here’s a phrase we’ll bet you’ve never heard before: “You know what we need more of? Secondhand smoke.” We’ll also bet you’ll never hear the phrase again, because foul-smelling secondhand smoke is such a widely accepted detriment.

Dr. Hopkins said he would like the regents to take up his proposal early next year. The sooner, the better.

Comments (20) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Jon Lester
2480
Points
Jon Lester 12/14/13 - 03:27 am
10
0
And how soon will the bus fleet be 100% electric?
Unpublished

I don't see any serious initiatives to protect passengers from exhaust.

myfather15
59557
Points
myfather15 12/14/13 - 06:23 am
9
2
"“I think as regents we have

"“I think as regents we have a responsibility to our students to do what’s best for them and their health.”

This is ridiculous. Leave it to the "highly intelligent" educators in our colleges to decide they are smart enough to take care of everyone!! They have to make decisions for everyone, because people are just too stupid to make their own.

I am NOT a smoker and I don't like smoke!! Let's get that straight first out the gate. BUT, if you are smoking on campus, in a designated smoking area, at least 30 feet away from any sidewalk, walkway or door; people are NOT smelling or inhaling your smoke!!

This is simply another case of the "educators" of this Country (probably liberal minded) thinking THEY are smarter than everyone. THEY must decide to force their way upon everyone!!

But, as I've stated many times; they need a good disguise to hide behind. Their disguise is "They have to do what's best for their students health". But like I said, if you designate smoking areas completely away from doors or sidewalks; the students HEALTH is no longer an equation. So what's the excuse after that?

Bodhisattva
9818
Points
Bodhisattva 12/14/13 - 07:27 am
8
2
Another anti smoking

Another anti smoking editorial and another "How Savannah does it" anti smoking article. Like I said, GRU doles out $$$, get ready Augusta, hers comes the 4 or 5 year old fake waitress in the fake restaurant commercials and another push by the anti smoking Nazis on private businesses. They should have a time limit (2 years would be good) before they can keep pushing the same ordinance over and over (and a simple rewording shouldn't count). How about smoking areas? That would solve the problem. Covered and climate controlled with exhaust fans. No problem with cars driving within feet of the students. Any insecticides or herbicides sprayed around campus? Nothing but healthy, natural, organic options in the cafeterias, right? Nothing fried? Frying releases all kinds of nasties in the air. Feeding the students and staff GMO's? Of course all of the building supplies and furniture have been checked to make sure they contain no PVC, TPU, VOC? All cleaning products have no harmful ingredients? There's no way you would be hypocritical and just single out one item, that happens to be one you don't like, as one to ban would there. If health is the issue it's an all out effort in all areas of the campus, right? Ot is it?

Riverman1
110899
Points
Riverman1 12/14/13 - 08:20 am
6
2
An Interesting Point About Rights

An interesting point here. Many feel the government shouldn’t be able to tell restaurants and bars to ban smoking, but wouldn’t mind if the restaurant did it on its own. Consider the current proposal is by an organization, albeit the group of state public colleges, to ban smoking on THEIR property. Does a school have a right to ban smoking in the classrooms? Can they prohibit certain activities on THEIR property? Why not smoking? Could not a business say no smoking inside the building and outside on its land?

The argument most often heard is if someone wants to go to a restaurant that allows or doesn’t allow smoking that should be up to him/her. If someone wants to go to a college that allows smoking on campus or doesn’t, that is also his/her decision. Unless I’m mistaken there will still be many other colleges in the state that allow smoking on campus.

gaflyboy
6054
Points
gaflyboy 12/14/13 - 08:40 am
7
1
Somewhat unrelated

But ... Riverman (12/14/13 - 07:20 am).

When did "state public colleges" become THEIR property?

Riverman1
110899
Points
Riverman1 12/14/13 - 09:14 am
5
1
Understand

Gaflyboy, I understand your point, too. That's why I used the phrase "albeit the group of state public colleges." But don't we allow public colleges to make their own rules? For instance, North Georgia probably has all kinds of military rules for their campus. Even high schools don't allow smoking by anyone on their property.

We allow public institutions to basically make their own rules. So I pretty much view them as an independent entity. I don't think we want to get into creating laws telling them what they can and can't do, exactly as most don't want laws telling restaurants they can't allow smoking.

soapy_725
44852
Points
soapy_725 12/14/13 - 09:55 am
1
0
"If you smoke and dip and chew, there are eyes a watching U....
Unpublished

there's an eye from on high watching you...., watching U, watching U

soapy_725
44852
Points
soapy_725 12/14/13 - 09:56 am
0
0
The Chuck Wagon Gang was prophetic.
Unpublished

The Chuck Wagon Gang was prophetic.

KSL
170160
Points
KSL 12/14/13 - 10:04 am
1
3
I have never had a four or

I have never had a four or five year old waitress, fake or real. Tighten up your verbage.

KSL
170160
Points
KSL 12/14/13 - 10:07 am
0
3
My high school and the grades

My high school and the grades below did not allow gum chewing.

Bizkit
43348
Points
Bizkit 12/14/13 - 11:32 am
3
2
The Nazi's were the first to

The Nazi's were the first to discover cigarette smoking "causes" cancer and the Fascist Nazi's were the first to ban cigarettes with all kinds of negative propaganda of how it negatively influence health, reproduction, etc in the goal for the superior race. Cigarettes don't cause cancer-they increase your risk of certain cancers-but not everyone who smokes gets them nor is not smoking going to prevent you from getting these same cancers. Tobacco is a drug just like alcohol or pot so we allow drinking in public places-seems discriminatory. I gather you can smoke medical pot in public places too. So if Ga becomes a medical marijuana state will they still ban smoking for hospice patients dying in the hospital-seems cruel?

dichotomy
43059
Points
dichotomy 12/14/13 - 12:04 pm
3
0
Oh good, another crusader

Oh good, another crusader trying to protect everyone from nothing. Smoking outside, away from building entrances, neither endangers anyone nor inconveniences them. It's STATE, PUBLIC property NOT PRIVATE PROPERTY.

Maybe he should concentrate more on turning out college graduates who are actually capable of passing a 1960's high school graduation final exam.

Bizkit
43348
Points
Bizkit 12/14/13 - 12:07 pm
2
0
"and another push by the anti

"and another push by the anti smoking Nazis on private businesses.' Gosh Bod we agree THEY ARE ACTING LIKE NAZIS. I guess that fits with Azziz's managerial style.

Bizkit
43348
Points
Bizkit 12/14/13 - 12:11 pm
2
0
I like my bit about "will

I like my bit about "will they still ban smoking for hospice patients dying in the hospital". Hee,hee picked up that from Obama=all I needed was a bunch of bald dying cancer patients surrounding me being denied their medical pot. That's really, really sick ya know.

Bizkit
43348
Points
Bizkit 12/14/13 - 12:25 pm
3
0
Dichot did you read the

Dichot did you read the article about the guy who examined PhD dissertations and theses at Ivy league schools and found most plagiarized and fraudulent in different ways? The pseudo-intellectuals I keep talking about who have a piece of paper with a degree and that's about it. A PhD is a degree in persistence almost more than intellect-not all PhDs are equal. I've seen grads who make straight A's but have no research or lab skills and end up teaching. Just because you make straight A's in medical school doesn't mean you will be the best doctor, nurse or whatever-nor just because you didn't make straight A's you can't be the best at whatever you do. Motivation and effort can over come many a handicap.
On a personal note-I'd be a dunce if not for my Tom Terrific Funnel Hat that makes me "brilliant". For years I had my Woody Allen "Orgasmatron" but I decided to trade it in for brains and the hat. Maybe not so wise a choice.

deestafford
40401
Points
deestafford 12/14/13 - 12:43 pm
2
0
Mark my words as to what is coming in Georgia...

Mark my words as to what is coming in Georgia as it has in some other states. One day you will read a proposal that smoking be banned in all outdoor public state own places such as parks and beaches. This is just the nose of the camel under the tent. The anti-smoking crowd will not stop until it is banned everywhere to include inside one's home (It has been in certain cities because it said to be smelled by neighbors.) Watch for it....it's coming.

Riverman1
110899
Points
Riverman1 12/14/13 - 02:47 pm
2
3
DeeStafford, that's already

DeeStafford, that's already the case in Columbia County. No smoking in parks, etc. The only public land where you are allowed to smoke is the Wildwood Park campground.

For a legal point about public v. private property, it's well established that your legal rights are suspended in schools and colleges. If you want to be on that campus, you submit to their rules.

dichotomy
43059
Points
dichotomy 12/14/13 - 04:45 pm
2
0
"that's already the case in

"that's already the case in Columbia County. No smoking in parks, etc. "

That's true, but that does not make it right, nor does it justify it based on science. It's a ban on an unpopular, yet perfectly legal activity in the open air. My guess is that nothing would be said if the parks were full of people smoking pot.

Riverman1
110899
Points
Riverman1 12/14/13 - 05:27 pm
2
1
We don't have any pot smokers

We don't have any pot smokers or LGBT in Columbia County. :)

itsanotherday1
53253
Points
itsanotherday1 12/14/13 - 05:40 pm
1
0
You all know I'm on your side

You all know I'm on your side about about personal and private property rights; but I don't think this train is going to slow down. The camel got his nose under the tent a long time ago; now is pretty much in but for his behind.

Once the crusaders win this skirmish, they will pick up the battle cry on food. Restaurants and food processors will be forced by law to only prepare foods that fit "healthy" guidelines.

Riverman1
110899
Points
Riverman1 12/14/13 - 06:13 pm
2
0
I'm starting to feel like

I'm starting to feel like Paul Ryan.

rebellious
22731
Points
rebellious 12/14/13 - 08:40 pm
1
0
Erroneous Premise!

The Editorial starts out with this statement:

“Henceforth, any student, staff member or visitor on any of the state’s 31 public college campuses would have permission to spew, into the air, unlimited amounts of formaldehyde, arsenic, benzene, asbestos and dozens of other known cancer-causing agents all over campus – in every classroom, dorm room, dining hall and library.”

Then goes on to laud Tommy Hopkins for proposing the opposite.

But wait (and I didn't read all the previous comments), but don't we have State Law prohibiting indoor smoking in establishments such as the Regents govern?

So the bravery of the proposal diminishes to simply saying people can't smoke anywhere outside, if I interpret the difference between existing law and proposed policy.

As an ex smoker, I have no dog in this fight, other than that crazy, dinosaur of a concept of liberty. Imagine that, being allowed to do what you enjoy, providing it harms no one! Somebody ought to found a country on the idea(l)! Who knows, it could thrive and exist for, say..., 250 years or so. It's so crazy an idea, It just might work.

rebellious
22731
Points
rebellious 12/14/13 - 08:41 pm
1
0
Riverman

How does Paul Ryan feel? Just curious.

Riverman1
110899
Points
Riverman1 12/14/13 - 10:14 pm
1
0
Reb, I saw him on TV where...

Reb, I saw him on TV where the reporter asked him how he felt to be called a RINO or conservative in name only when he is often said to be too far right, after his budget compromise deal many conservatives attacked.

Back to Top
loading...
Search Augusta jobs