Jacob Grier | Banned on campus(0) I see it as a restriction on freedom, because it is. You might think it's totally justified. You might be right. But it's still an abridgment of freedom. Sometimes that's necessary. When it is, you justify it. You don't pretend it isn't real with a snotty little "oh, those wacky people who want freedom, how silly."
One of the quiet ways smoking bans have spread across the United States is via bans on college campuses. [...]
Encouraging schools to go smokefree is now official policy of the Department of Health and Human Services, which recently launched an initiative in collaboration with the University of Michigan to encourage campus bans on campus. The bans apply outdoors, [...]
“The CDC and surgeon general say there is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke,” said Julien Guttman, a GWU public health graduate student who is part of the advocacy group Colonials for Clean Air. “No matter how much science we have to back up what we are saying, there will always be individuals who see this as a restriction on their freedom.”
(1) The science is not on your side on this one, buddy. This is a religious gesture, not a health policy. Even the NIH admits that. And when you say things like this, it's kind of a give-away: "Guttman, like Manzo, emphasized the extent to which a smoke-free campus is as much about education and resources for smokers as about policy and enforcement."
Awareness, out-reach, education, etc. are last resorts of Crusaders. Notice that the game has now shifted from abridging freedom in order to protect non-smokers to abridging freedom in order to educate smokers about the risks of smoking.
(2) The "no safe levels" thing gets me every time. I would be drummed out of the room for asserting that any substance or activity had "no safe levels" in a risk analysis class. Safety and risk are not boolean. It's not a matter of "yes, safe"/"no, risky." These things exist on gradients.
PS Grier posted another gem from Guttman recently:
“We’re trying not to use the word 'ban,'” says Julien Guttman, of the GW campus advocacy group Colonials for Clean Air. “We encourage people to talk about a smoke-free campus rather than a ban on smoking.”I encourage employers to talk about a Julien Guttman-free firm rather than a ban on hiring Julien Guttman.