Responses to “Smelly smokers”

I must say, IâÄôm flattered by how riled up Nathan Proft got over myself and others laying out the facts for him. ItâÄôs remarkable that not only could he not offer one compelling reason for a smoking ban, but he lambasted those against such an atrocious infringement on human rights. How about the other countless sources of air pollution? I bet those like Proft will be shocked to find out that âÄî gasp âÄî pollution from vehicles and factories far out-produce the pollutants entering the atmosphere from smoking. But why comment on those sources? Proft clearly has no problem with AmericaâÄôs reliance on wasteful automobiles or archaic production methods âÄî he accepts those sources because he enjoys their utility. Unfortunately, you canâÄôt pick and choose which sources do and donâÄôt offend you. Either all air pollution is wrong or none of it is. Further, if you arenâÄôt proactive enough to walk around someone smoking, you have no one to blame but yourself. The U.S. Constitution is not a tool for you to use in order to discriminate against others. Grow up, move on and find an issue actually worth discussing. Adam Preiwisch University student I would like to also congratulate Nathan Proft on his even more remarkably feeble defense of the smoking ban. It was nice to see that you also can write eloquently, if only for one paragraph. Discussion over the smoking ban has migrated from the real issue, which is the health of non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke outdoors. Recent arguments, however, have been about the âÄúsmellinessâÄù of cigarettes and the high prices of cigarettes âÄî both nonfactors in this debate. Proft mentions that Adam PreiwischâÄôs main argument is that there is âÄúno casual evidence linking secondhand smoke to lung cancer.âÄù He fails to mention any counterargument, however, completely ignoring the oppositionâÄôs strongest point. I am not the only one that would back up PreiwischâÄôs argument in this situation; Stanford agrees, as well. In a study found in the May issue of the Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association, Neil Klepeis (Stanford) states that outdoor secondhand smoke can be dangerous when within a few feet of the smoker, but he also agrees that the âÄúdata also show that if you move about six feet away from an outdoor smoker, your exposure levels are much lower.âÄù Considering that smoking is prohibited within 25 feet of all University building entrances, the threat of secondhand smoke damage is irrelevant. ProftâÄôs three supporting arguments promoting the smoking ban are extremely opinionated and unfounded. Sadly, he uses the same argument twice, promoting the idea that cigarettes are âÄúsmelly.âÄù Popcorn, feces and Pigpen are all smelly as well, but there are no campus-wide movie, bathroom or Charlie Brown Christmas bans. His other argument is that a cigarette ban will be great economically, as smokers will no longer purchase cigarettes. I agree completely that cigarettes are an expensive commodity for the consumer, but that does not mean that anyone is justified to make economic decisions for others solely on that reason. The bottom line is that debate over the smoking ban needs to focus on the main goal, which is promoting the health of innocent non-smokers. Unless there is conclusive evidence that secondhand smoke is damaging from 25 feet away outdoors, this entire debate is a nonissue. David TenEyck University student Following Nathan ProftâÄôs reasoning, we should also ban from campus students who do not wear deodorant, because their smell is offensive. While weâÄôre at it, why not ban soda and candy, as they give people unattractive teeth and cost money, as well as being unhealthy. Think of the money and lives we could save in these tough times by banning unhealthy foods, bad smelling people and stinky smoke. I believe people on our campus should have the right to act in a way that others may not agree with or that others find offensive âÄî as long as it is not infringing on the rights or safety of another. With the health impacts of secondhand smoke in an open area a questionable subject and the debate driven more by emotion than scientific fact, I feel that a studentâÄôs right to smoke on campus should trump my right not to catch a whiff of smoke from time to time âÄî just as someoneâÄôs right to eat candy should trump my God-given right to have pretty smiles to look at. Carl Magnuson Graduate student