Tobacco ban unnecessary, an overstep



By Kaitlin Vickers

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention 2,500,000 people have died due to second hand smoke since 1964. This number compared to 480,000 smokers per year is significantly smaller. This takes only about five years to reach the fatality rate of second hand smoke. Seeing this drastic difference in numbers leads me to believe that the real people at risk here is the actual smokers.

Our university administration is overstepping their boundaries when they say that they are going to ban smoking on our campus. With our campus being “dry” already it leaves me to believe that the administration enjoys using their power to limit students.

I do understand that second hand smoke is harmful, but my question is: how many of these people that are complaining about the smoke are around it off campus? Most people that do not smoke associate themselves with at least one person that does, and a lot of times these people are spending time with them when they are smoking. The CDC stated that second hand smoke in any amount can be dangerous. With this logic then we should ban all smoking in public places whether it be inside or outside. Maybe tobacco should be illegal all together? If it were illegal then black markets would open up to sell the tobacco products anyway, the problem of second hand smoke cannot be fully eliminated.

Tobacco products being banned from campus as a whole is also not a good idea due to the fact that not all of it has smoke, so it is not harming others. Chewing tobacco is put into the mouth of the consumer and does not have any output such as smoke. How is this harming to bystanders? The answer is: it isn’t.

Last school year I lived on campus and smoking was banned on the balconies and inside the dorm rooms due to a fire that had happened previously. If smoking gets banned all together on campus, these students that are living on campus would not be able to smoke at their “home.” This may push them to smoke inside causing a fire hazard or send them into withdrawal.

Tommy Owens, a current UNO student said, “When I was on student government last year I was one of a few senators to vote against a tobacco ban. I think the complete ban will have a negative impact on students who smoke especially international students who come from countries with different tobacco norms. It also puts another hardship on smokers who are disproportionately minority and of lower socioeconomic status.”

I know there is a lot of people out there that are against the ban but only one out of the five people that responded to my question stated that something should be done to modify smoking on campus, even then it was just a modification to the already present rule.

In my opinion the administration should survey students to see what the overall population thinks about the smoking ban. This could be submitted anonymously like our course evaluations. This would give the administration a chance to hear from the campus as a whole instead of deciding for everybody without any real input.





  1. I agree that banning smoking on campus seems a bit extreme. If we’re banning it on the basis that it’s harmful to people, why wouldn’t be ban soft drinks, which are arguably just as bad for your health? This particular policy appears to be pretty selective.

    I’m also curious about what’s being done to make sure the tobacco-user’s opinion is heard. Do they get to vote on this policy? If we’re instituting a policy that is allegedly representative of what the student body wants, how is the college ensuring that the voices of people who either use tobacco themselves or who don’t have a problem with smoking on campus are heard?

  2. Second hand smoke ‘dangers’ were invented by the anti-smoking movement to force through these iniquitous bans and legislation.
    The Relative Risk from a lifetime of breathing in second hand smoke is 1.17, which means an increase in risk of 17%. To put this into some sort of perspective, you’ve more chance of getting cancer from drinking water (RR 1.25), whole milk (RR 2.14), bacon (RR 3.00), and even keeping pet birds! (RR 6.00)
    Would any sane person believe that a persons health can be seriously harmed by a glass of water? Of course not.

    Robert E Madden,
    Practicing chest surgeon, teacher and a former cancer researcher. Past president of the NY Cancer Society. USA

    “To me the most offensive element of the smoking bans is the resort to science as “proving that environmental smoke, second hand smoke, causes lung cancer”. Not only is this unproven but there is abundant and substantial evidence to the contrary. It is frustrating, even insulting, for a scientist like myself to hear the bloated statistics put out by the American Cancer Society (of which I am a member) and the American Lung Association used to justify what is best described as a political agenda.”

  3. Colleges being forced to go smokefree by Obama Administration

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced an initiative to ban smoking from college campuses last month. This is part of the HHS goal to create a society free of tobacco-related disease and death, according to their action plan released by the HHS in 2010.

    Colleges who fail to enact campus-wide smoking bans and other tobacco-free policies may soon face the loss of grants and contracts from the HHS, according to the plan. Western receives grants through a subdivision of the HHS called the National Institutes of Health, Acting Vice Provost for Research Kathleen Kitto said.

    Obama administration to push for eliminating smoking on college campuses

    Read more: … z29zJ2V2TV

    President Barack Obama has already promised not to smoke cigarettes in the White House. If his administration has its way, American college students will soon be required to follow suit while they’re on campus.

  4. Not 1 Death or Sickness Etiologically Assigned to Tobacco. All the diseases attributed to smoking are also present in non smokers. It means, in other words, that they are multifactorial, that is, the result of the interaction of tens, hundreds, sometimes thousands of factors, either known or suspected contributors – of which smoking can be one.

    Here’s my all-time favorite “scientific” study of the the anti-smoking campaign: “Lies, Damned Lies, & 400,000 Smoking-Related Deaths,” Robert A. Levy and Rosalind B. Marimont, Journal of Regulation, Vol. 21 (4), 1998.

    You can access the article for free on the Cato Institute’s wesbite, This article neither defends nor promotes smoking. Rather it condemns the abuse of statistics to misinform and scare the public. Levy, by the way taught Statistics for Lawyers at Georgetown University Law School. There is also a popular law school class called How to Lie With Statistics.

    death by medicine” is by far the larger concern. These deaths are real, real people with real families not some defective “public health” mafia computer generated stats (SAMMEC) where no real deaths or people are counted….


    A definitive review and
    close reading of medical peer-review journals, and government
    health statis tics shows that American medicine frequently causes
    more harm than good. The number of people having in-hospital,
    adverse drug reactions (ADR) to prescribed medicine is 2.2
    million.1 Dr. Richard Besser, of the CDC, in 1995,
    said the number of unnecessary antibiotics prescribed annually
    for viral infections was 20 million. Dr. Besser, in 2003, now
    refers to tens of millions of unnecessary antibiotics.2, 2a

    The number of unnecessary medical and surgical procedures
    performed annually is 7.5 million.3 The number of
    people exposed to unnecessary hospitalization annually is 8.9
    million.4 The total number of iatrogenic deaths
    shown in the following table is 783,936. It is evident that the
    American medical system is the leading cause of death and injury
    in the United States. The 2001 heart disease annual death rate
    is 699,697; the annual cancer death rate, 553,251.5

  5. Secondhand smoke is a myth. Where is the scientific proof that anyone has died from secondhand smoke?? Asking a person if they smoke when they are sick does not mean that tobacco caused the illness and is no kind of proof.

  6. You’re not kidding, it’s an overstep. smokers are being asked to change every little habit they have to pacify the non smokers or antis. If antis hate smoke so much well can’t they get out of their own way and stay away from it and take responsibility for themselves and not expect others to bow down to their every wish and where do they get off telling me what I am allowed to consume in my own house and car and even on the streeet. They don’t own it and they don’t own me and they are big babies who can’t seem to take care of themselves and want others to go all out in bending over backwards for them. They don’t like smoking, don’t go to bars, if you are scared silly over smoke from a cigarette, well stay away from it. Bans are used to oppress certain segments of society that others don’t like and secondhand smoke is a myth. Test it for yourself, someone is smoking outside for example and you are walking down the street, how much of the dissapated smoke do you think you are exposed to???? Stupid is what stupid does what it is.
    I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself.
    Johnny Carson

    “As Alaska zipped through something obvious about linear equations, stoner/baller Hank Walsten said, “Wait, wait. I don’t get it.”

    “That’s because you have eight functioning brain cells.”

    “Studies show that Marijuana is better for your health than those cigarettes,” Hank said.

    Alaska swallowed a mouthful of fries, took a drag on her cigarette, and blew a smoke at Hank. “I may die young,” she said. “But at least I’ll die smart. Now, back to tangents.”
    ― John Green, Looking for Alaska

    “The only time I really think is when I smoke, and I quit smoking years ago.”
    ― Jarod Kintz, There are Two Typos of People in This World: Those Who Can Edit and Those Who Can’t

  7. Smoking is a disgusting habit. I’m glad it was banned from businesses.

    This move however is stupid. They can’t even enforce current policy. I run into people several times a week smoking next to entrances sometimes standing right next to the no smoking sign.

    So this new ban gets put in place. Ashtrays get removed. Does anyone really think the smokers are going to stop? The only result from this will be more litter on the ground since there will be no ashtrays.

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