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UNF Spinnaker

Smoking restrictions infringe on freedom

Remember the good old days when you could smoke a cigarette in class? How about the common adage “a cigarette a day keeps the doctor away,” and those very doctors were puffing away in hopes that each successive drag would align their humors?

Neither do we, and while we don’t miss those ignorant halcyon days, we feel compelled to stand up for the waning rights of those hacking habitués: smokers.

Increasing pressure from lawmakers and concerned citizens has engendered legislation that crosses the line between public health and personal freedom. Members from both camps of the anti-smoking campaign have influenced UNF in past years with indoor smoking bans and the “Swoop Safety” banners that adorn campus colonnades.

While we credit UNF for following the Clean Indoor Act and Section 20, Article X of the Florida constitution – if applauding a state institution for following state laws is necessary – both of those laws pertain to indoor smoking.

In other words, the UNF policy and regulations stipulation about outdoor smoking, which states, “All tobacco users will be restricted to outside areas generally located at least 25 feet away from buildings and heavily traveled walkways,” is not legally compulsory.

UNF has taken it upon itself to police students and faculty with overly restrictive policy, no doubt at the behest of cringing non-smokers. Cigarettes offend the fume-free crowd’s delicate sensibilities and arouse spectral fears about second hand smoke, but neither concern is worthy of curtailing our freedom.

Many of you are probably clenching your teeth at the prospect of second hand smoke being innocuous – we suggest you calm down with a nice Benson & Hedges, or maybe a Gauloises. Just kidding, the Spinnaker is not in the pocket of Big Tobacco.

Studies have shown that second-hand smoke is extremely dangerous, but the oft-referred to studies are almost exclusively conducted indoors. People hear “x-number of people die from second-hand smoke” and don’t realize that these unfortunate souls are the ones who live close quarters with a coterie of chain-smokers, not casual second-hand smokers on college campuses.

A recent University of Georgia study found that outdoor second-hand smoke only appears at dangerous concentrations in front of bars, restaurants, etc. at peak hours – such as during sporting events.

The study concluded that smoke levels on college campuses were negligible. While research on second hand smoke has thankfully lead to lower rates of cancer and heart disease, biased reporting has lead to a public view that is lacking nuance and leaving smokers out in the cold – literally.

Being 25 feet from a building or trafficked walkway means possibly being subjected to icy winds and rain, well, just about any time. You may think we are being a little hyperbolic here, and you may have a point. But the real point is that smokers are being not only coerced, but coerced into a worse situation than they were in – all for no legitimate reason.

If it was proven that either outdoor second-hand smoke or non-smokers’ offended olfactory glands were an actual public health concern, the matter would be very different. But as it stands, UNF’s policy favors both unmitigated rumor and the personal tastes of a particular group.

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  • D

    Doug FoncreeFeb 15, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    I am amazed that in this so-called, “information age,” people are more ignorant and less informed than ever before. If this was not the case, the American public wouldn’t have swollowed all the anti-smoking propaganda they have been spoon-fed by the government and big pharma. There is not now nor has there ever been any SCIENTIFIC study showing that “second hand smoke” is in any way harmful. Yet, the gullible American public has happily accepted bogus reports and false studies as gospel truth. The billions of dollars being spent on dangerous drugs to “quit smoking,” is absolutely mind boggling. Oh well, I guess it’s true – ignorance really is bliss!

  • K

    Ken Hill (non-smoker)Feb 12, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    Hooray for Fascism

    Hooray for Fascism. Let us all jump up and down and sing in joy, like little children, but we are adults that know Fascism is evil and to make emotional decisions about our children’s future based on our government’s irrational anti-smoking agenda, is in not in their best interest.

    Capitalism can thrive without war. It is a producer of goods and services. Capitalism trades with other countries. Fascism depends on the demise of Capitalism. Fascism destroys the means of producing goods and services necessitating invasion against other countries.

    Big Government assists Fascism to exist by forcing their will upon the population with more and more sweeping legislations. Small Government relies upon the strength of the people, not their weaknesses’, to project hope into the future. Capitalism requires courage to move forward, Fascism cowardice. Fascism always hides, represses their rotting, self-betrayed inner state while spewing “there is no hope, the earth is dying” mentality upon the world. Anti-smoking bans are part of this process.

    The earth is not dying, but the strident forcefulness of ‘chicken littleism, politicized environmentalism, Fascism’ must be identified and eradicated.

    • A

      adminFeb 13, 2010 at 4:49 am

      Comment of the year. The Spinnaker will now accept your resume for a paid columnist position!

  • H

    harleyrider1978Feb 4, 2010 at 7:03 am

    The new Tobacco Prohibition

    I would like to take the time to tell the entire community about a falsehood so big that everyone who believes in freedom should be appauled.
    This falsehood is so big it resonates from historical fact forward to this day. This falsehood is so big billions of dollars have been spent to make it believable to those of us who dont take the time to look up the facts.
    We all remember reading about alcohol prohibition,but did you know there was also tobacco prohibition going on before alcohol became such a target of the last nanny staters.
    Our great grandparents lived thru prohibition and the great depression,they also lived thru tobacco prohibition.

    Heres a time line starting in 1900,dont be surprised to see the same thing playing out today nearly 100 years later.

    1901: REGULATION: Strong anti-cigarette activity in 43 of the 45 states. “Only Wyoming and Louisiana had paid no attention to the cigarette controversy, while the other forty-three states either already had anti-cigarette laws on the books or were considering new or tougher anti-cigarette laws, or were the scenes of heavy anti- cigarette activity” (Dillow, 1981:10).

    1904: New York: A judge sends a woman is sent to jail for 30 days for smoking in front of her children.

    1904: New York City. A woman is arrested for smoking a cigarette in an automobile. “You can’t do that on Fifth Avenue,” the arresting officer says.

    1907: Business owners are refusing to hire smokers. On August 8, the New York Times writes: “Business … is doing what all the anti-cigarette specialists could not do.”

    1917: SMOKEFREE: Tobacco control laws have fallen, including smoking bans in numerous cities, and the states of Arkansas, Iowa, Idaho and Tennessee.

    1930: hitler institutes laws against smoking.This one you can google.

    Now onto the falsehood……

    We have been told for years by smoke free advocates that second hand smoke is the cause of everything from johnnys ear ache to cousin ED’S lung cancer. But wheres the proof!!!

    Remember they claim 50,000 deaths a year yet,there are no bodys not even mass graves of the dead to second hand smoke.We await the names of these victims.

    A simple stroll down historys road say 10 years or so and we start to get at the truth……

    A federal Judge by the name of osteen got a case dropped in his lap in North Carolina,the case was that of EPA’S study on second hand smoke/environmental tobacco smoke.The judge an anti-tobbaco judge by reputation spent 4 years going thru the study and interviewing scientists at EPA and came to the conclusion :


    ”EPA’s 1992 conclusions are not supported by reliable scientific evidence. The report has been largely discredited and, in 1998, was legally vacated by a federal judge.Before its 1992 report, EPA had always used epidemiology’s gold standard CI of 95 percent to measure statistical significance. But because the U.S. studies chosen[cherry picked] for the report were not statistically significant within a 95 percent CI, for the first time in its history EPA changed the rules and used a 90 percent CI, which doubled the chance of being wrong.

    This allowed it to report a statistically significant 19 percent increase [a 1.19rr] of lung cancer cases in the nonsmoking spouses of smokers over those cases found in nonsmoking spouses of nonsmokers. Even though the RR was only 1.19–an amount far short of what is normally required to demonstrate correlation or causality–the agency concluded this was proof SHS increased the risk of U.S. nonsmokers developing lung cancer by 19 percent.”

    So here we find that second hand smoke was made a political scapegoat by EPA.Lets not forget how EPA has reworked the global warming studys just this last summer. Where its top scientists paper was rebuked because it didnt carry the EPA’S stand that global warming was real.

    The political shenanigans surrounding SHS/ETS go deep not only with the government and its health agencies but also to the big pharmaceutical companies and non-profit orginizations aka ACS,ALA,AHA and a meriad of others. All lobbying for smoking bans and their weapon of choise Propaganda paid for by big pharma and tax dollars. Studys made to order that second hand smoke is deadly. Take a memory note here too,over 250 studys on shs/ets have found it safe.

    Yet a simple look at the chemistry shows us that its:

    The Chemistry of Secondary Smoke About 94% of secondary smoke is composed of water vapor and ordinary air with a slight excess of carbon dioxide. Another 3 % is carbon monoxide. The last 3 % contains the rest of the 4,000 or so chemicals supposedly to be found in smoke… but found, obviously, in very small quantities if at all.This is because most of the assumed chemicals have never actually been found in secondhand smoke. (1989 Report of the Surgeon General p. 80). Most of these chemicals can only be found in quantities measured in nanograms, picograms and femtograms. Many cannot even be detected in these amounts: their presence is simply theorized rather than measured. To bring those quantities into a real world perspective, take a saltshaker and shake out a few grains of salt. A single grain of that salt will weigh in the ballpark of 100 million picograms! (Allen Blackman. Chemistry Magazine 10/08/01). – (Excerpted from “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains” with permission of the author.)

    Now, how odd that when we search the smoke free activists sites not one of them mentions that water vapor and air are the main components of second hand smoke. Is this just a fluke or an outright omission to further their political healthscare against the general public.

    The last informative tid bit I have for you is what does OSHA have to say about all this secondhand smoke stuff.

    Here is where it gets interesting,it seems John Banzhaf, founder and president of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) decided to sue OSHA to make a rule on shs/ets not that OSHA didnt want to play ball with him,its just that the scientific facts didnt back up a rule to start with.

    Now for a rule to happen Osha has to send out for comments for a period of time and boy did the comments fly in, over 40,000 of them….Osha has whats called PEL’S and limits for an 8 hour period of exposure to chemicals in indoor environments…[epa is in charge of outdoor air]

    This is where second hand smoke really becomes a joke,remember its nearly 94% water vapor and air…..now lets get to the facts of toxicology and dose makes the poison:

    According to independent Public and Health Policy Research group, Littlewood & Fennel of Austin, Tx, on the subject of secondhand smoke……..

    They did the figures for what it takes to meet all of OSHA’S minimum PEL’S on shs/ets…….Did it ever set the debate on fire.

    They concluded that:

    All this is in a small sealed room 9×20 and must occur in ONE HOUR.

    For Benzo[a]pyrene, 222,000 cigarettes

    “For Acetone, 118,000 cigarettes

    “Toluene would require 50,000 packs of simultaneously smoldering cigarettes.

    Acetaldehyde or Hydrazine, more than 14,000 smokers would need to light up.

    “For Hydroquinone, “only” 1250 cigarettes

    For arsenic 2 million 500,000 smokers at one time

    The same number of cigarettes required for the other so called chemicals in shs/ets will have the same outcomes.

    So,OSHA finally makes a statement on shs/ets :

    Field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that under normal conditions, the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELS.) as referenced in the Air Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000)…It would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded.” -Letter From Greg Watchman, Acting Sec’y, OSHA, To Leroy J Pletten, PHD, July 8, 1997


    By the way ASH dropped their lawsuit because OSHA was going to make a rule and that rule would have been weak and been the law of the land,meaning no smoking bans would ever have been enacted anywhere,simply because an open window or a ventilation system would have covered the rule.

    Let me also tell you that the relative risk for shs/ets by the SG report of 2006 was a 1.19 ”EPA study is whats used to call it a carcinogen”……milks is a 2.43 and that glass of chlorinated water your about to drink is a 1.25 yet these things aren’t determined to be a carcinogen….The gold standard in epidemiology is a 3.0….Now had the SURGEON GENERAL included 2 other shs/ets studys the relative risk for disease from shs/ets would have been nearer a.60-.70 meaning it would have a protective effect against ever getting disease.

    But,what each of us has is years and years of exposure and the knowledge that our kids all grew up around shs and generations of others,yet we are here alive not dead from a lousy 30 minute exposure to shs as stanton glantz tries to claim…..thats another story and its just as crazy as all the rest of smokefree’s claim about shs/ets.

    Oh! have you heard the one about ”laugh” thirdhand smoke or third hand drinking.
    Like I said their claims border beyond that of any reasonable persons commomsence.

    The next time you see a healthscare claim
    consider the source.Especially if it comes from a government or non profit agency!

    disclaimer; I am a victim of the smoking bans like tens of millions of smokers and non-smokers who liked to hang with their friends in a public accommodation. We have in effect lost our freedom of association because of the bans.
    Property owners have lost their right to their property rights by these laws based upon psuedo-science and propaganda.I dont work for any tobacco company nor do I get anything but the satisfaction that I can make the smoke free activists cringe when the truth gets out.

  • M

    MDAFeb 3, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    “The study concluded that smoke levels on college campuses were negligible.” This statement is incredibly misleading because this wasn’t the purpose of the study at all. Rather, it was to prove that we should be concerned about levels of secondhand smoke outdoors. (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091118154619.htm) Here’s an excerpt from a news article detailing the study and its findings:

    “During the study, researchers recruited 20 non-smoking adults and placed them in one of three environments: outside bars, outside restaurants and, for the control group, outside the UGA main library.

    Immediately before and after the six-hour study period, the volunteers gave a saliva sample that was tested for levels of cotinine, a byproduct of nicotine and a commonly used marker of tobacco exposure.

    They found an average increase in cotinine of 162 percent for the volunteers stationed at outdoor seating and standing areas at bars, a 102 percent increase for those outside of restaurants and a 16 percent increase for the control group near the library.”

    When compared to an outrageous 162%, I suppose that a mere 16% may seem “negligible”, but it is definitely not minuscule when considering that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Furthermore, this study was the first of its kind, yet incredibly small in scale (only twenty participants) at varying locations which included only one location on a college campus — this hardly backs up the quoted sentence above re: “college campuses”. I found this entire “Discourse” to be incredibly misinformed.