Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wanna go to Speers for a ciggie?

Chancellor John Cavanaugh of the State System of Higher Education has provided our latest example of an overreaching bureaucrat who apparently doesn't have enough real issues with which to concern himself. Cavanaugh, in a twisted bit of logic, determined that because the state recently banned most indoor smoking, he should ban smoking on the campuses of the 14 state-owned colleges, not just indoors but anywhere on school property. Some students and the union representing thousands of workers on the campuses are raising heck about the ban, which came out of the blue. If Cavanaugh's concern is the health of the students, then he's not going far enough. He needs to ban Twinkies and pizzas from school property and require that all students receive regular injections of Depo-Provera to reduce the risk of unintended pregnancies. As I've said before, I'm a smoker, but I've always tried to be considerate of non-smokers because I don't want to subject them to the effects of my filthy habit. That being said, the new state law is a joke because of its many exceptions. For example, smoking is banned in restaurants, but bars that make only a small part of their profits from food sales can continue to allow their patrons to light up. Are the bar employees less worthy of protection from second-hand smoke than the restaurant workers? Smokers are an easy and popular target, so perhaps the government, which loves to tell us what to do, should just ban the sale of cigarettes entirely. Of course, with the loss of millions of dollars in cigarette taxes, you non-smokers are going to have to help us fill the budget hole.



Blogger PRIguy said...

The government will never actually ban the sale of cigarettes entirely. There is far too much revenue to be enjoyed from the ridiculous taxes the government imposes on the manufacturers, distributors and the smokers.

I smoked for 27 years. I loved every puff I took. I tried to be a considerate smoker, just like Brant. But I never wanted to be bullied into putting out a butt. If someone asked me to please put out my cigarette, I graciously did so, with an apology to boot. However, if someone demanded that I put out the cigarette, I would put it out...eventually. But only after taking a few inordinately large drags and exhaling them directly into the face or whoever demanded that I snuff out my smoke.

These smoking bans are ridiculous. I'm not afraid of secondhand smoke. I don't believe it causes any damage to anyone. I've worked in restaurants where smoking was allowed and I never complained. I don't mind if a guest in my home smokes. I have air freshener. Like Brant said, smokers are easy targets. I think that's because there is little good that can be said for cigarettes. Other than the fact most smokers truly enjoy smoking. But we live in the land of the offended, where litigious whiny babies get their way, and it's just too easy to bitch at smokers with their smelly, carcinogenic and oh-so-pleasurable habit.

Cavanaugh isn't concerned for the nonsmokers. He's just bolstering his standing among his non-smoking constituents who probably outnumber the smokers in that group.

September 17, 2008 at 5:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe secondhand smoke won't kill you, but it's a disgusting smell to nonsmokers and an irritant to asthmatics and people with allergies. I'm not a smoker butI played in bands in bars six nights a week for almost 20 years before ther was smoking ban, and I "got used to" the smell of smoke on my clothes, my equipment, my hair ... But it didn't take long after I stopped playing nightly to realize how awful that smell is. I sympathized with my poor mother, who was married for almost 60 years to a smoker although she didn't smoke. But because they shared a clothes closet, her wardrobe reeked of cigarette smoke.

I understand "smokers rights," and I know cases can be made saying that if we ban smoking we should also ban alcohol or have special "drunks only" sections in restuarants. But I think even smokers will agree that smelling better is a nice alternative to making people think you just fell off the back of a smoldering tobacco truck.

September 18, 2008 at 2:46 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

I've smoked for more than 30 years, but I still hate the smell of it so much that I wash my hands after each cigarette. I offend myself, but not enough to quit.

September 18, 2008 at 3:23 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

I'm in total agreement about the smell, and it's more annoying now that I'm "clean." But I don't think smoking should be banned. I just think the whole secondhand smoke debate is nothing but a bunch of bulls**t from lobbyists.

September 20, 2008 at 5:43 AM  

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