Campus / News / Student Senate / May 7, 2014

Student Senate may seek smoke-free campus

Some senators are concerned that the current placement of campus ashtrays poses a risk to student health. (Wikimedia Commons)

Some senators are concerned that the current placement of campus ashtrays poses a risk to student health. (Wikimedia Commons)

At the May 1 senate meeting, Campus Life Committee chair sophomore Victor Schultz and sophomore Senator Charlie Harned proposed holding a forum on Knox’s smoking policy.

“Colleges from Harvard to Michigan to UCLA either are tobacco-free or have tobacco-free initiatives on campus,” Harned said. “Obviously secondhand smoke is an issue, but a huge move in the anti-tobacco world is that of raising awareness towards third hand smoke.”

“Essentially, I believe going tobacco-free would look better for Knox from a public relations standpoint, and ultimately be much healthier than the current policy.”

Students and professors have posed complaints about smoking on campus. Some have called for moving ashtrays farther away from buildings. Among academic buildings, GDH may suffer the most problems, with smokers standing directly in front of the building.

Some also worry about the general risks of exposure to secondhand and thirdhand smoke. The latter is the residual nicotine and chemicals that can be found on indoor surfaces and people themselves, which can cause health issues.

“I have asthma, so it’s a problem for me when I am walking behind someone who is smoking,” freshman Mary Houlihan said. “I don’t believe in an all-out ban, but I think that specified smoking areas could be beneficial.”

A removal of smoking from campus completely isn’t the only option available, and President Teresa Amott has expressed concerns that a smoking ban would force smokers to cross accident-prone South Street frequently. Moving ashtrays could reduce the smoke that filters indoors. Another suggestion is the creation of a centralized smoking area on campus.

Senators suggested sending out a campus-wide poll and gathering students in a forum to discuss the student body’s stance on the smoking policy.

Callie Rouse, Co-News Editor
Callie Rouse is a junior International Relations major and double minor in Creative Writing and History. She has been involved in journalism since her sophomore year in high school and this is her third year working for The Knox Student. This and last year she served as Co-News Editor. During her freshman year Callie served as Student Government Reporter.

Tags:  campus life Health and Wellness smoking

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Callie Rouse
Callie Rouse is a junior International Relations major and double minor in Creative Writing and History. She has been involved in journalism since her sophomore year in high school and this is her third year working for The Knox Student. This and last year she served as Co-News Editor. During her freshman year Callie served as Student Government Reporter.




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  • john

    seriously, though. It is ridiculous for a school like Knox not to have a smoke free campus. If we want to be environmentally friendly, friendly in general, and not smell and look disgusting, we neeeeeed this.

  • john

    AND if people are worried about crossing the street, tobacco kills waaaaay more people each year than cars. http://www.lung.org/associations/states/colorado/tobacco/
    get your priorities straight.

  • riya

    This is crazy. One of reasons I love Knox is because how liberal and supportive it is. I don’t think banning smoking is a good idea at all, in fact it takes away from what Knox is and what students believe the “freedom to flourish” stands for. It has to concur it every aspect of a student’s life, whether it is smoking or academics. Second hand smoking can be avoided by anyone that doesn’t want it by simply not standing next to a person that is smoking. Nicotine composites indoors? this is ridiculous, why don’t we look at real problems such as how shitty the quad dorms are? and how there are no real benches in the soccer field? and how bad the food in the cafeteria is? and how boring Knox can sometimes be with lack of activities?
    Yeah. Smoking isn’t the problem to think about here.

  • John Davidson Jr

    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.

    http://www.westernfrontonline.net/news/article_f8068f12-0efe-11e2-8b41-001a4bcf6878.html?success=1

    Obama administration to push for eliminating smoking on college campuses

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/09/11/obama … 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.

    Howard Koh, assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will announce a national initiative Wednesday at the University of Michigan School of Public Health to stamp out tobacco use on college campuses.

  • John Davidson Jr

    This pretty well destroys the Myth of second hand smoke:

    http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/28/16741714-lungs-from-pack-a-day-smokers-safe-for-transplant-study-finds?lite

    Lungs from pack-a-day smokers safe for transplant, study finds.

    By JoNel Aleccia, Staff Writer, NBC News.

    Using lung transplants from heavy smokers may sound like a cruel joke, but a new study finds that organs taken from people who puffed a pack a day for more than 20 years are likely safe.

    What’s more, the analysis of lung transplant data from the U.S. between 2005 and 2011 confirms what transplant experts say they already know: For some patients on a crowded organ waiting list, lungs from smokers are better than none.

    “I think people are grateful just to have a shot at getting lungs,” said Dr. Sharven Taghavi, a cardiovascular surgical resident at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, who led the new study………………………

    Ive done the math here and this is how it works out with second ahnd smoke and people inhaling it!

    The 16 cities study conducted by the U.S. DEPT OF ENERGY and later by Oakridge National laboratories discovered:

    Cigarette smoke, bartenders annual exposure to smoke rises, at most, to the equivalent of 6 cigarettes/year.

    146,000 CIGARETTES SMOKED IN 20 YEARS AT 1 PACK A DAY.

    A bartender would have to work in second hand smoke for 2433 years to get an equivalent dose.

    Then the average non-smoker in a ventilated restaurant for an hour would have to go back and forth each day for 119,000 years to get an equivalent 20 years of smoking a pack a day! Pretty well impossible ehh!

  • John Davidson Jr

    Press Release
    July 1997

    THE KESSLER-KOOP COMMISSION PLANS
    “THE FINAL SOLUTION TO THE SMOKER PROBLEM”

    Defining the choice to smoke as “a chronic disease” and declaring “no value” to the use of cigarettes, a panel commissioned by the President and congress has proposed an Orwellian “blueprint” for “control”– on an international basis– that exceeds all boundaries of democratic tradition says Wanda Hamilton, Vice President of the Florida Smokers Rights Association.

    The Commission, headed by ex-FDA czar David Kessler and ex-Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, has seriously proposed the immediate implementation of what clearly must be seen as totalitarian means– backed fully by the power of police-state enforcement– to achieve an almost classically totalitarian goal, a kind of mandated behaviorism. Or to use their own words, “the goal is to change the behavior of smokers.” Not only in America but all around the world.

    Their prescriptions include (but aren’t– unfortunately– limited to) the following:

    ¶ Smoking bans in all public places in America, indoors and out. And eventually in all public places in the world. (Indoors and out.)

    ¶ Smoking bans in all homes “where children… live,“ such fiats to be legitimized by “legal protections” designed “to protect children from parental tobacco smoke.”

    ¶ “Sustained” anti-smoking “educational programs,” not only for children but also for adults, not only in “the schools,” but also “in homes.” (“All aspects of society need re-education.”) Yep. Their word (and Mao’s): “re-education.”

    ¶ Research to be done on “the effect of subliminal messages in early childhood.”

    ¶ For current smokers: “a mix of intensive services… provided in hospital settings, psychiatric and drug treatment facilities and in-patient nicotine dependence centers.”

    ¶ Political surveillance “at all levels of government” to “expose tobacco campaign contributions, tobacco lobbyists, and ethically compromised government officials and lawmakers.”

    ¶ An executive order from the President to all cabinet departments and trade representatives instructing them essentially to blackmail foreign governments into accepting, embracing, enacting and enforcing these “tobacco control standards” within their own countries. Implementation to be paid for with U.S government funds.

    ¶ Also to be paid for with U.S. government funds, the “surveillance, prevention of”– and punishment for– illicit international trade in tobacco including, of course, “smuggling.”

    The full report is available at http://www.ash.org/report2.html

  • Les

    i doubt if this john davidson jr. is even a real person, if you click on his name all of his posts seem to be about tobacco…



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