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In a sense, the outdoor bans seem like a logical extension of 30 years of efforts to reduce tobacco use, given the harmful effects of smoking.The majority of the most elite schools, especially Ivy Leaguers like Harvard and Princeton, have yet to jump on the bandwagon, however.
2 – Increased risk of harm to students and other members of the university community.
If students are forced off campus when they want to smoke, this will lead them to negotiate traffic on foot or by car.
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Additionally, students who smoke will likely spend less time on campus and avail themselves less frequently of campus dining options – leading to a reduction in university revenues and a less vigorous student presence on campus.
All these factors remain extremely difficult to measure, and anti-smoking activists who claim to have measured no impact from smoke-free campus policies elsewhere misrepresent the situation. Judging from student comments many of us have already heard around campus, the complete outdoor smoking ban alienates many and breeds resentment toward an administration seen as having gone too far.Instead of respecting our students and offering them a safe, liberal environment on campus, our university administrators feel cowed by the new political correctness of the latest temperance movement.How distressing that the groups pushing these policies, from the “true believers” to Anheuser-Busch funded organizations like the Bacchus Network (which would divert universities’ attention from alcohol to tobacco) or pharmaceutical company groups (who often get universities to buy their smoking cessation products and distribute them for free or at a subsidized price), couldn’t care less about the fallout.If just half of these 4000 students who smoke have access to a car and use it to leave campus just once more a week for lunch or a break (as a result of the ban), this equals two thousand extra car trips a week around the university.Unlike tobacco outdoors, vehicle exhaust does pose a significant health risk to others, and the extra traffic (some 60,000 extra car trips an academic year as a conservative estimate) will increase the university’s carbon footprint accordingly.To avoid or comply with the new rules, she’ll end up on the far periphery of the campus, in one of the dark places of the university, or on a street off campus.The university’s “walk safe” escort program will have informed her that they don’t have the resources to escort her, especially for an activity that university administrators want to stigmatize further.In the case of differently abled students and those with reduced mobility, pushing them off campus seems a particularly hard to justify and even cruel approach. If avoidance strategies of people addicted to tobacco are half as strong as tobacco researchers say they are, student enrollment will suffer as a result of the complete outdoor smoking ban.Particularly students in the arts and international students from countries such as China, which have higher smoking rates, have many choices and may look elsewhere for their education.I can’t help but think that this is because they have more common sense than the rest of us: it’s only a matter of time before this “smoke-free campus” movement gets a student assaulted, raped or killed. I shouldn’t think so, given that the sequence of events is perfectly foreseeable, and quite likely, in the aggregate.Here's why: Some 20 percent of university students smoke.