A North Country college campus bans tobacco

This morning we’re airing an interview with John Mills, president of Paul Smiths College, about his move to ban all tobacco products on campus by August 2014.

Paul Smiths has a reputation for attracting future timber and forest product workers who take pride in their blue collar, rough-around-the-edges vibe.

For a lot of students, that lifestyle includes a can of chew or a cigarette.  But Mills says the culture on his campus was actually inspiring non-smokers to take up the habit.

“Some of our data indicated we were creating smokers,” according to Mills, “and that really bothered me.”

Banning a known carcinogen  that kills hundreds of thousands of Americans every year may seem like a no-brainer.  The move drew strong praise from the Adirondack Tobacco Free Network.

But some students are incensed at their school’s attempt to dictate a legal behavior in their private lives.

“I mean if you want to smoke, I think they should be able to.  They’re paying a lot of money to come here,” said Paul Smiths student Peter Murphy, a non-smoker who thinks his school has gone too far.

So what do you think?  Are Paul Smiths — and the hundreds of other college campuses adopting these rules — defending public health and further reducing nicotine addiction?  Or are they meddling in a high-handed way in lives of their student-customers?

Your comments welcome.

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51 Comments on “A North Country college campus bans tobacco”

  1. Kathy says:

    They are meddling in a high-handed way in lives of their student-customers.

    Our society is taking on a “we know what’s best for you” tone. And even though we are an intelligent bunch, we’re also very good at blindly following the newest trend.

    How does this tone line up with liberals, secularists, et al, who promote pro choice? We can choose homosexuality and abortion but we are not smart enough to not choose tobacco, (how much soda we drink, etc.) and so the nanny state has to choose for us?

    And you wonder why there are radical conservatives out there who are anticipating the worst?

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  2. Newt says:

    Very interesting story. I tend to be against the nanny-state, or college. College students are technically adults, and should be allowed to make their own decisions, providing they to not impinge on the rights of others not to breathe or smell 2nd-hand smoke. (Oh, the joy of not smelling peoples exhaled carcinogens in restaurants, airplanes, bars, etc.!)

    On the other hand, Pres. Miller indicated students were choosing to avoid the college after seeing students smoking. This “market” factor, if significant (and I have my doubts ) would be a reason to ban smoking. I suspect non-smokers are a higher class of student, socio-economically and academically.

    Also his statement that kids were picking up the habit at the college would be a legitimate reason to take action.

    I wish Brian had asked who was going to enforce the ban on the spot. Teachers? Security? RAs? President Miller? Is there an enforcement plan at all? Speaking as a former teacher, there better had be, or it could end up a travesty. Maybe the gradual implementation will steer away serious smokers from the college, so this won’t be a problem.

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  3. Newt says:

    This may not be the right place for this, but I really enjoyed Brian’s interview with the taxidermist. A bright, interesting guy doing work most of us would consider really unpleasant, among other things. I think it’s great he can make a good living here doing honest, creative work.

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  4. The Original Larry says:

    There’s no problem with banning smoking, which, as Brian correctly points out, seems like a no-brainer. The problem is that once you go down this road (and we are pretty far down it already) it becomes progressively harder and harder to turn back towards individual freedom. It always starts with no-brainers but sooner or later not everyone agrees with what constitutes a no-brainer and that never ends well. Being a free people brings risk and can be problematic, sometimes, but it is always better than mindless automatons goose-stepping towards someone else’s vision of how things should be.

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  5. Mervel says:

    Every college campus has the right to create an environment and a vision of what they want for the experience. In this case I am not sure how you would enforce this particularly for chew? But if bars can deny smoking, certainly college campuses would make just as much if not more sense. I think outside is a little more difficult?

    But smoking in our society is now becoming a marker of lower income families, poverty, less education and so forth, from a marketing standpoint if you have a campus full of smokers, it would not be a great selling point for paying a lot of money to attend, what would that say about the future, I mean pay 35K per year to go be swashbuckling logger who likes to spit skoal and smoke? May be cool for the kids, but not so much for the parents paying the tab.

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  6. Newt says:

    Kathy and Larry-
    I think you can see that I am not unsympathetic to your viewpoints.

    But, since Paul Smith’s is a private institution, does the restriction of personal freedom argument apply here? Students can still choose to attend schools with more (sorry! ) liberal smoking policies. No taxpayers are potentially “harmed” by the implementation of this policy, just tuition-payers and supporters of the college who disagree.

    I’m reasonably sure that Brigham Young University has a similar policy about smoking on campus. Is it wrong?

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  7. Walker says:

    “Being a free people brings risk and can be problematic, sometimes, but it is always better than mindless automatons goose-stepping towards someone else’s vision of how things should be.”

    Sounds like we should be free from restrictions on abortion and gay marriage under this thinking.

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  8. Walker says:

    Yes, Newt, BYU definitely bans not just smoking, but coffee and tea as well. Naturally they ban alcohol as well. Not your average university campus!

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  9. The Original Larry says:

    Sorry to burst your bubble, Walker, but conservatives (at least not this one) are not the ones goose-stepping down the road.

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  10. There is a dilemma here for the libertarian capitalist. Should the students be free to smoke and chew or should the college, as a private institution, be free to establish their own rules? Whose freedom prevails? It is my general observation that no freedom is absolute except anarchy which unfortunately includes a lack of responsibility to our fellow citizens.

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  11. dave says:

    “I mean if you want to smoke, I think they should be able to.”

    You still can. Just not on their private property. Go home, have a smoke. Walk 2 minutes to the edge of campus, have a smoke.

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  12. Pete Klein says:

    Does PS – or should that be PC – ban beer, guns and sex as well or as worse?
    Naturally the college can do whatever it wants to do. They are free and so am I not to ever visit.
    Based upon comments about it’s the lower class, uneducated who smoke, I guess FDR would count as low class and uneducated.

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  13. Mervel says:

    I hope no one took offense at my comments. I smoked when younger and quit, I have family members who smoke etc., I have no personal malice or judgement on anyone who smokes.

    However, statistically the majority of smokers today are not professionals, smoking is no longer socially acceptable in many circles is the bottom line. It seems strange and is simply a nasty habit. From a marketing standpoint the last thing a college campus wants to be known for is that they have a lot of student smokers.

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  14. Pete Klein says:

    Mervel, no offense taken but I have never cared much for being socially acceptable. What does socially acceptable get you but being controlled by people who aren’t your friends.
    When it comes to smoking, I never smoke in someone’s house if they don’t smoke.
    If anyone comes to my house, I hope they are smart enough to know I won’t stop smoking in my house just because they are there and don’t smoke.

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  15. Two Cents says:

    apparently chicks dig it


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  16. Steven says:

    “Paul Smiths has a reputation for attracting future timber and forest product workers who take pride in their blue collar, rough-around-the-edges vibe.”

    Haha. I always thought of PS forestry students a trust-funders who rebel against their upper class upbringing. Or at least kids with very poor economic sense, who will pay mid-$30k a year for tuition, room and board for a job that pays mid-$30k at mid-career.

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  17. Kathy says:

    What is interesting to me re: Paul Smith’s is the fact they did it now.

    Why not 5 years ago. Or 10 years ago?

    Certainly we’ve known the danger of second hand smoke, tobacco use, etc. way before now.

    It’s the timing. Which makes me see a trend. Which makes me wonder where we’re headed.

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  18. Steven says:


    Where do you wonder we are heading?

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  19. Some History says:

    Antismoking is not new. It has a long, sordid, 400+ year history, much of it predating even the semblance of a scientific basis or the more recent concoction of secondhand smoke “danger”. Antismoking crusades typically run on inflammatory propaganda, i.e., lies, in order to get law-makers to institute bans. The current antismoking rhetoric has all been heard before. All it produces is irrational fear and hatred, discord, enmity, animosity, social division, and bigotry. It’s unfortunate that Americans are clueless as to even their recent history. One of the two major antismoking (and anti-alcohol) crusades early last century was in America. [The other crusade was in Nazi Germany and the two crusades were intimately connected]. The USA has been down this twisted, divisive path before. Consider the following. The bulk of claims made about smoking/tobacco were erroneous, baseless, but highly inflammatory. Unfortunately, the propaganda did its destructive job in the short term, producing mass hysteria or a bigotry bandwagon. When supported by the State, zealots seriously mess with people’s minds on a mass scale.

    The current antismoking crusade is much like previous crusades. It is a moralizing, social-engineering, eradication crusade decided upon in the 1970s by a small, self-installed clique of fanatics operating under the auspices of the World Health Organization (the Godber Blueprint http://www.rampant-antismoking.com ). This little, unelected group decided for everyone that tobacco-use should be eradicated from the world. These fanatics were speaking of secondhand smoke “danger” years before the first study on SHS, together with advocating indoor and OUTDOOR smoking bans: Secondhand smoke “danger” is a concoction to advance the social-engineering agenda, i.e., inflammatory propaganda. The zealots’ goal this time is not to ban the sale of tobacco but to ban smoking in essentially all the places that people smoke. Up until recently the social-engineering intent has been masqueraded (i.e., deception) as protecting nonsmokers from secondhand smoke “danger”. But even this fraud is no longer viable in that bans are now being instituted for large outdoor areas such as parks, beaches, campuses.

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  20. Kathy says:

    Newt, I agree that Paul Smith’s should do as it wishes. Just as I think if an employer wishes to fire his/her employee for any reason, it should not be made into a media frenzy.

    I step back alot and look at the bigger picture. As I noted at the 1:14pm post, it’s the trend and the timing that concerns me. We are at a place where red flags are going up regarding freedom.

    Brian’s article said: “Some of our data indicated we were creating smokers,” according to Mills, “and that really bothered me.”


    This goes along with my point. You have someone or a team of someones looking at this data? Why?

    The bandwagon, that’s why. The bandwagon of “we know what is best”.

    We think we’ve evolved into smarter, more intelligent people, given all our technological, medical, and scientific advances – but we can be as dumb as a box of rocks. Even without credentials, anyone has the power to influence and we become like lemmings. You just need an agenda, charisma, and power to get people to follow you.

    And that is what my concerns are with our recent discussions. What if you don’t want to follow suit? Well, you are disqualified from bringing your ideas to the table. So. What’s next?

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  21. Mervel says:

    Pete, ha yes for many of us being socially acceptable is not worth very much.

    However from a Private college marketing perspective, well I think that is what this is all about. They could achieve the same thing by just having certain smoking and chewing black out periods, whenever they are doing tours etc for prospective parents/students for example. I don’t think this is about health, but if you do have a tobacco culture growing on campus I can understand wanting to “snuff” it out.

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  22. Kathy says:

    I might add, perhaps Paul Smith’s should have a committee also look at the STDs, pregnancies, and other sexual behaviors happening on their campus.

    It’s not the detriment of second hand smoke, but you better believe they are detriments which affect one’s physical, emotional, and mental well being.

    How is it that we pick and choose what measurement to use, along with what will be measured? Clearly, the culture is determining that.

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  23. Some History says:

    The damage that has been done over the last 3 decades, a “salami slice” at a time: Here’s a brief history of the antismoking madness (Godber Blueprint) over the last few decades.

    The first demand for a smoking ban was in the late-1980s concerning short-haul flights in the USA of less than 2 hours. At the time, the antismokers were asked if this was a “slippery slope” – where would it end? They ridiculed anyone suggesting such because this ban was ALL that they were after.
    Then they ONLY wanted smoking bans on all flights.
    Then the antismokers ONLY wanted nonsmoking sections in restaurants, bars, etc., and ensuring that this was ALL they wanted.
    Then the antismokers ONLY wanted complete bans indoors. That was all they wanted. At the time, no-one was complaining about having to “endure” wisps of smoke outdoors.

    While they pursued indoor bans, the antismokers were happy for smokers to be exiled to the outdoors. Having bulldozed their way into indoor bans, the antismokers then went to work on the outdoors, now declaring that momentary exposure to remnants of smoke in doorways or a whiff outdoors was a “hazard”, more than poor, innocent nonsmokers should have to “endure”.
    Then they ONLY wanted bans within 10 feet of entrance ways.
    Then they ONLY wanted bans within 20 feet of entrance ways.
    Then they ONLY wanted bans in entire outdoor dining areas.
    Then they ONLY wanted bans for entire university and hospital campuses and parks and beaches.
    Then they ONLY wanted bans for apartment balconies.
    Then they ONLY wanted bans for entire apartment (including individual apartments) complexes.

    On top of all of this, there are now instances, particularly in the USA, where smokers are denied employment, denied housing (even the elderly), and denied medical treatment. Smokers in the UK are denied fostering/adoption. Involuntary mental patients are restrained physically or chemically (sedation) rather than allow them to have a cigarette – even outside.

    At each point there was a crazed insistence that there was no more to come while they were actually planning the next ban and the brainwashing required to push it. There has been incessant (pathological) lying and deception. Many medically-aligned groups have been committed to antismoking – their smokefree “utopia” – since the 1960s. They have prostituted their medical authority and integrity to chase ideology. All of it is working to a tobacco-extermination plan run by the WHO and that most nations are now signed-up to (Framework Convention on Tobacco Control).

    We can see the pattern here. The concocted SHS “danger” concerned a minute statistical risk of entirely questionable causal basis for LIFELONG indoor (30, 40, 50, 60 years) exposure to SHS from spousal smoking. Around 99.9+% of those exposed to SHS over a lifetime have NO elevated statistical risk of disease. Yet with the propaganda promoting the idea that SHS is bio-weapon-like, unlike anything else on earth, we now have many delicate and dainty nonsmokers “running the gauntlet” of smokers at building entranceways, hand cupped over mouth, terrified that they might inhale a whiff. This is the promotion of mental dysfunction (e.g., anxiety reactions, hypochondria, somatization). And the irrationally terrified then demand “protection”. It is fully to be expected as a result of incessant inflammatory propaganda. And this is typically what happens when the medically-aligned Public Health goes on its social-engineering, deranged ideological crusades. The fanatics will keep pushing as far as society allows them.

    This has all happened in just 20 years. If it was mentioned 20 years ago, or even 10 or 5 years ago, that smokers would be denied employment and housing and smoking bans in parks and beaches, it would have been laughed at as “crazed thinking”. Yet here we are. It’s all happened before and it has all been intentional, planned decades ago. Unrestrained zealots can do serious damage (e.g., bigotry bandwagon). We just don’t learn or we’re going to have to learn the very hard way because it has to do with far, far more than just smoking.

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  24. Some History says:

    In addition to the links provided above.

    “The use of tobacco, in any form, is a dirty, filthy, disgusting, degrading habit….
    You have no more right to pollute with tobacco smoke the atmosphere which clean people have to breathe than you have to spit in the water which they have to drink.
    …. use of the filthy, nasty, stinking stuff [tobacco]”


    Sound familiar? Sounds like contemporary antismoking rhetoric. Interesting is that the quote above is from an anti-tobacco billboard (photo circa 1915) on the road leading into Zion, Illinois, USA. When considering the sentiments appearing on the billboard, it must be remembered that this was many, many decades before the concoction of secondhand smoke “danger”. Zion City was a “utopian” community established in the early-1900s by John Alexander Dowie representing a so-called (questionable) “Christian” sect (Christian Catholic Church). Tobacco, alcohol, and gambling were banned within Zion.




    Serious, dangerous fanaticism/extremism was rife in America right up to WWII. The Temperance (religious leanings) and Eugenics (physicians, physicalists) Movements, both having dictatorial tendencies and a delusional emphasis on and obsession with physical health at the expense of all other dimensions of health, wreaked considerable damage in America. The EM was by far the most influential in America and eventually produced catastrophe in Nazi Germany with global consequences. The Temperance and Eugenics Movements shared the anti-tobacco sentiments in the quote above. While they attempted to change society with destructive consequences, Dowie chose to create his own “protected”, albeit highly dysfunctional, community.

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  25. Walker says:

    Gee, Kathy, maybe you need to step back a bit further: Eugenics, the social movement claiming to improve the genetic features of human populations through selective breeding and sterilization, based on the idea that it is possible to distinguish between superior and inferior elements of society, played a significant role in the history and culture of the United States from the late 1800s to World War II.

    Now that was the elites figuring that they knew what was good for everyone. Happily no longer au courant. These things are cyclical.

    Incidentally, Kathy, you’re real good at spotting trends that you think erode some freedoms, but not all freedoms. You know, like marriage for all, or a woman’s right to control her own reproduction, or a child’s right not to be indoctrinated in your religion of choice in school.

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  26. Walker says:

    “I might add, perhaps Paul Smith’s should have a committee also look at the STDs, pregnancies, and other sexual behaviors happening on their campus.”

    Kathy, again, it’s sacrosanct private property, remember? Why should you even think of telling them what they should or shouldn’t do with it?

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  27. It's Still All Bush's Fault says:

    Sounds like Paul Smiths College is looking out for the well-being of their student population and employees. I believe that may be in the job description for the president of the college. Banning tobacco is a good first step.

    In this “anything/everything goes” society, it always strikes me a bit odd when these things pop up. It makes you wonder whats next.

    No one is forced to go there. If they decide they don’t like the rules.

    I would enjoy conducting that job interview in a few years.
    “I notice that you didn’t complete your degree at WKBTU. Could you tell me why?”
    “They wouldn’t let me smoke.”

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  28. Walker says:

    Kathy, no one is disqualifying anyone from bringing their ideas to this table.

    But we don’t have to buy anyone’s ideas either. Freedom, remember?

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  29. Steven says:

    “Paul Smiths has a reputation for attracting future timber and forest product workers who take pride in their blue collar, rough-around-the-edges vibe.”

    Haha. I always thought of PS forestry students a trust-funders who rebel against their upper class upbringing. Or at least kids with very poor economic sense, who will pay mid-$30k a year for tuition, room and board for a job that pays mid-$30k at mid-career.

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  30. Kathy says:

    Walker, how is it that you are having trouble in how I’ve defined myself here?

    When have I denied anyone their freedom to have an abortion, choose homosexuality, or their choice of religion? When have I thought it not a child’s right to be free from religious indoctrination in the schools?

    But alas, this is where conservatives and/or Christians get nailed by the left. They go for the throat with ludicrous accusations and all it looks like to me is a weak argument looking for something to stand on. Like Newt pointed out yesterday, yes, there are some radicals out there. News flash: I’m not one of them.

    However, I will bring my thoughts and ideas to the table. No one has to buy into them. But my experience is the conservative thoughts and ideas are laughable to the progressives.

    The progressives give themselves a blank check when it comes to the freedoms they deem worthy. They seem to have no problem encroaching upon the freedoms of others.

    My point re: Paul Smith’s was, if they are going to have a panel examine data and prohibit tobacco use, then perhaps they should prohibit other things, too. The same measure for everything.

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  31. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    The thing I wonder, just what the heck is this “freedom” thing I hear everyone talking about all the time?

    Here’s another one that I don’t understand, “responsibility”. People are always taking “full responsibility” for stuff but it doesn’t seem to mean anything.

    I don’t think I’m the only one who wonders what freedom and responsibility mean.

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  32. Marlo Stanfield says:

    This whole banning smoking on entire properties thing has been going on for a few years, and it’s ridiculous. Obviously I can see why you’d want to ban it inside, or maybe within 10 feet of an entrance or something, but there’s no call for banning it everywhere outside.

    The “creating smokers” concern amused me a bit — EVERY college does that. That’s what kids do when they’re away from home for the first time. They drink too much, they do drugs, and yes, they smoke. Maybe they should put as much thought into all the druggies they’re creating.

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  33. Walker says:

    “Obviously I can see why you’d want to ban it inside, or maybe within 10 feet of an entrance or something, but there’s no call for banning it everywhere outside.”

    Tell it to the Mormons. I went to a conference at BYU thirty years ago, when I was still smoking, and I had to walk to the very edge of the campus to have a cigarette. So it ain’t true that EVERY college does that, though I’ll grant you that the majority do, or did. (You’d think there would be some small, private colleges where political correctness militated against tobacco consumption, though.)

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  34. Arlan says:

    Steven. Made me laugh both times I read it! Sad but true.

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  35. Pete Klein says:

    I guess Paul Smith’s would like to change its image from: Where the men are men, the women are men and the sheep run damn scared.
    I’ve heard that line for over 20 years.

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  36. mervel says:

    Kathy from a marketing perspective STD’s won’t hurt you as a college (they should ,but they don’t) however having a bunch of smokers on campus which would indicate futures which are less than stellar; would not be a good sell when you are asking for private school tuition. One of the reason’s you pay private school tuition is to put your kids in contact with other kids and their families who will help them later on, a big smoking campus or a campus known for smoking; does not help that image.

    I don’t think this is about student health, you have a drug issue, you have a binge drinking issue ( I mean look at the deaths on campus), and an STD issue, all could be seriously addressed if this was about health, its about image and socio-economic status.

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  37. Kathy says:

    I don’t think I’m the only one who wonders what freedom and responsibility mean.

    KHL, if you really don’t know what they mean, it proves the point I’ve made many times on this forum!

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  38. mervel says:

    Besides if you want to be a tough guy go to a two year SUNY and get a degree in HVAC, you could be a tough guy, pay less money AND make more money. Better yet go to the truck driving school down in Syracuse! Once again less time, less money and good paying jobs, and smoking is just fine!

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  39. Dom says:

    There Is No Safe Level Of Exposure To Tobacco Smoke.

    September of 2009 the American College Health Association issued a “no tobacco policy” position statement encouraging colleges and universities nationwide “to be diligent in their efforts to achieve a 100 percent (100%) indoor and outdoor campus-wide tobacco-free environment.

    21 Tobacco-Free Campuses in New York State are; Barnard College, Broom Community College, Cazenovia College, City University of New York (23 campuses), College of Saint Rose, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Corning Community College, D’Youville College, Maria College, Queens College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Sage College (2 campuses), St. Francis College, State University of New York-Buffalo, SUNY-Canton, SUNY-College of Optomery, SUNY-Cortland, SUNY-Rockland Community College, SUNY-Upstate Medical University, Wells College, Westchester Community College (11 campuses),

    There Is NO RISK-FREE LEVEL of exposure to the chemicals in tobacco smoke, with even brief exposure adversely affecting the cardiovascular and respiratory system. (heart & lungs) *1

    Smoke-free places Decrease cigarette consumption in continuing smokers, as well as Decrease adult smoking prevalence. Smoke-free laws result in fewer respiratory symptoms in people, and there is strong evidence that these laws result in Decreased hospital admissions for heart attacks. *2

    “Third-Hand-Smoke is residual tobacco smoke contamination that remains after the cigarette is extinguished. It is a poisonous cocktail of toxins that lingers i hair, clothing, and other materials after a cigarette is put out. *2

    The toxicity of low levels of tobacco smoke constituents has been proved. According to the National Toxicology Program, these 250 poisonous gases, chemicals, and metals include; Hydrogen Cyanine – used in chemical weapons, Carbon Monoxide – found in vehicle exhaust, Butane – used in lighter fluid, Ammonia -used in household cleaners, Toluene – found in paint, Chromium – used to make steel, Cadmium – used to make batteries, and Polonium-210 (highly radioactive carcinogen)*3. Eleven of these compounds are group 1 carcinogens (most carcinogenic designation)*3. For some of these compounds, such as radioactive polonium-210, the cumulative dose is especially concerning, leading health professionals to call for immediate disclosure and warnings about exposure. *4


    *1. Pierce,J.P.;Leon, M.E., “Special report: policy-effectiveness of smoke-free policies,” Lancet Oncology 9:614-615, July 2008

    *2. Petrick,L. Environmental Science and Technology, January 2011.

    *3. US Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General. Washington,DC:US Department of HEalth and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coordinating Center for HEalth Promotion, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office onSmoking and Health; 2006

    *4. MugglPi ME, Ebbert JO, Roberson C, Hut\rt RD, WAking a sleeping giant: the tobacco industry’s response to the polonium-210 issue. Am J Public Health. 2008;98 (9) : 1643-1650

    Consider the Billions of dollars the combined tobacco corporations spend each year on advertising, it is no wonder that the use of tobacco is so deeply ingrained into our culture.

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  40. Some History says:

    “Hydrogen Cyanine – used in chemical weapons, Carbon Monoxide – found in vehicle exhaust, Butane – used in lighter fluid, Ammonia -used in household cleaners, Toluene – found in paint, Chromium – used to make steel, Cadmium – used to make batteries, and Polonium-210 (highly radioactive carcinogen)”

    Hey, Dom, you sound like one of the thoroughly brainwashed, able to parrot the propaganda at will. Dom, the “information” you provided above – what’s in a cigarette – has been used incessantly over the last three decades and has been quite instrumental in promoting the deranged idea that ambient tobacco smoke is something akin to a bio-weapon like, say, sarin gas. Dom, I take it that, although you’re willing to parrot the information, you are clueless as to its origin. Well, Dom, allow me to fill you in. It’s a nasty trick that some refer to as the “Chapman Trick”.

    This trick was suggested by Simon Chapman (a rabid antismoker) at the Fifth World Conference on Smoking & Health (1983) while presenting his manual on “how to do propaganda”:

    “A glance through any copy of the Smoking and Health Bulletin of the U S Department of Health and Human Services shows an entire indexed, section on ‘Tobacco Product Additives’ . Citations are included from patent office registrations of new chemical applications to tobacco processing and from the specialist chemical literature. Both these sources are virtually unintelligible, let alone normally accessible to the average person but are rich in potential for anyone willing to translate them into news items with popular interest . Polysyllabic chemical names should be checked through a reference book that lists common usages and toxicological data for chemicals . Look for usages that will connote revulsion or concern . For example, well known chemicals found in tobacco include cadmium (as in car batteries), ammonia (as in toilet cleaners), cyanides, formaldehyde and so on ……” (p.15)

    The Chapman Trick is to associate trace levels of particular chemicals in tobacco smoke with industrial-type uses of the same chemicals that involve extraordinarily larger quantities of these chemicals and entirely different chemical composition. It is lying by omission by not including any coherent context. It violates the toxicological maxim that “the dose makes the toxicity”. As Chapman notes and intends to exploit, most people are not familiar with chemistry and dosimetry. Concerning the trick, they don’t pay attention to the chemical names because they don’t understand them. Rather they focus on the English words that they do understand. And, as the information is presented, people conclude that there is ant poison in cigarettes, embalming fluid in cigarettes, anti-freeze in cigarettes, etc. There are nonsmokers that believe in SHS they are being exposed to vaporized ant poison, embalming fluid, anti-freeze, etc. So let’s be clear, there is no ant poison, embalming fluid, or anti-freeze, etc, in cigarettes. The only purpose of this trick is to deceive. It is intended to promote outrage and revulsion in, particularly, gullible nonsmokers at whom it’s directed. This trick has been used, ad nauseam, since the mid-1980’s by medical organizations, antismoking groups, and governments because it is highly effective. It is highly effective because, like most antismoking propaganda, it is inflammatory and false: It outrages because it is misleading. Its only purpose is to mislead, i.e., inflammatory propaganda. This trick has been instrumental in making tobacco smoke seem not only different to other types of smoke (e.g. cooking, heating, lighting), but incredibly, extraordinarily different and dangerous to anything on earth.

    Just to be sure, the air we typically breathe has many of the same chemicals as in tobacco smoke, and more, and in higher concentrations.

    Again, these chemicals are typically at trace levels and are not problematic.
    A google search will reveal similar chemicals in raw food and from cooking, and in drinking water.

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  41. Some History says:

    Just a few more thoughts on the “Chapman Trick”.

    Use of the Chapman trick is conduct similar to the fanatics/zealots/extremists of earlier last century that claimed the tobacco companies were lacing tobacco with cocaine and that plantation workers urinated on tobacco leaves: Concerning alcohol, a century ago, the Scientific Temperance Department taught schoolchildren that a few glasses of alcoholic drinks could burn a hole in the stomach and that alcohol drinkers were prone to spontaneous combustion. The fanatics’ goal is to incite revulsion/fear/hate to conformity, usually by lying.

    A national current affairs program a few years ago ran a story on smokers using hypnosis to quit the habit. The opening scene was 5 or 6 smokers seated in a room. The hypnotherapist entered the room carrying a tray. On the tray were a box of ant poison, a bottle of industrial detergent, and a number of other industrial-type products. He smiled at the smokers and declared, “this is what you’re smoking!” That’s not what they’re smoking. This hypnotherapist had lapped up the propaganda, hook, line, and sinker, as most people have done so. It should then not be surprising that there is a significant number of nonsmokers who believe that tobacco smoke is a weapons-grade poison able to kill with a whiff, and that requires draconian bans for “protection”. They are now suffering somatization or anxiety disorders such as phobia. And it is ideologically/financially-driven Public Health that has produced this very sick circumstance.

    Consider a recent Surgeon-General report (2010) further highlighting the “perils” of exposure to ambient tobacco smoke. There at the very beginning, on page 3, it starts with the Chapman Trick, i.e., inflammatory propaganda.

    How seriously should we take the remainder of the report when it begins with inflammatory propaganda? In fact, this report is an agenda-driven, inflammatory propaganda piece par excellence, the contribution typically made by high-profile, long-standing antismoking activists: The Office of the Surgeon General has long been prostituted to the antismoking “cause”. These fanatics are still pulling the same tricks 30 years on – and still getting away with them. As we go from antismoking website to antismoking website, we see essentially the same variant of the trick, i.e., a simple cut and paste. Over the last 30 years, the Chapman Trick has been included in numerous agenda-driven reports and in activist manuals. It has been plastered all over work places, e.g., recreation rooms, kitchens, dressing rooms, meeting rooms, first-aid stations. This trick has saturated the public consciousness. It cannot be overstated how much mental damage this trick has produced and is critically responsible for many nonsmokers turning to the antismoking “side”. Those trained in [mediocre] Public Health courses over the last 20 years wouldn’t know where this trick originated or that it’s even a trick. It wouldn’t be surprising if there are many in Public Health that are themselves deceived by the trick, which makes them even more zealous to eradicate the “poisonous”, smoking activity.

    Some might well ask how there can be fanatics in Public Health, or academia, or the medical establishment. Not only are there fanatics in these groups, but there are the worst kind of fanatics – the society/world fixer fanatics. These believe that they have a definitive world view that all must abide by, i.e., “god complex”. Over the last three decades, these fanatics have been seriously messing with people’s minds.

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  42. Some History says:

    From his presentation (The Lung Goodbye) at the 1983 World Conference (see link above) –

    Chapman also suggested using “good vs evil”/ “David vs Goliath” mythology – the good antismoking fanatics battling the evil tobacco industry – for its drama appeal to the public, i.e., theatrics.

    At the time, the number of rabid antismoking fanatics was small. So he suggested that if asked by the media on the number of antismokers involved, they should not commit to a number but use the term “Movement” which gives the impression of a large/larger membership.

    And he indicated other tricks and tactics.

    It is at this conference that the fanatics did what their predecessors also did – they gave themselves license to lie through their teeth to advance “the cause”, to which the barrage of inflammatory propaganda ever since is testimony.

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  43. Some History says:

    Here’s a current manifestation of this vulgar, obscene piece of propaganda – the Chapman Trick – promoted by Barnardo’s and Tobacco Free Futures in the UK. The article begins:
    “Arsenic, toilet cleaner and nail varnish remover aren’t the usual ingredients you would give your children over the summer holidays – but parents who smoke in Cumbria are being reminded that this could be the case unless they take ‘7 steps’ out of the house when smoking.”

    That’s the very intent of the Chapman Trick – to promote the idea that cigarettes contain toilet cleaner, ant poison, embalming fluid, etc. And in the UK there are people “trained” – “chemical soup trainer” – to present this insanity to the public. Barnardo’s and TFF have made it a point – an initiative – to disseminate the stupidity more widely. You’ll note that part of the “presentation” involves bringing out a tray of [fake] labelled containers, e.g., toilet cleaner, whose hazardous contents are also “contained” in cigarettes:
    “Developed by children’s charity Barnardo’s working in partnership with Tobacco Free Futures, the ‘chemical soup kit’ complete with cooking pot and fake hazardous liquids, was presented to attendees in a fun and visual way and highlighted some of the harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke.”

    A “fun” way of promoting divisive derangement!

    And the article contains a few other “sound bites”. For example, “Smoke from the end of a burning cigarette – ‘side stream’ smoke – is four times more toxic than mainstream Smoke”
    This statement is not correct. It can be said that the smoke coming off the lit end of a cigarette has four times the concentration of particular chemicals. It is not correct to claim that any dosage of such is necessarily “toxic”. If someone had their nose a few centimeters from the lit end of a cigarette for 8 hours a day, 7 days a week, for decades, then this might pose a risk. Other than this, the statement is intentionally misleading and inflammatory. Concerning the 4000 odd chemicals in tobacco smoke, many are theorized because, if they occur at all, they occur – at trace levels – for only fractions of a second. Most of these chemicals, at barely detectable trace levels, would already have come and gone as the smoke comes off the lit end of a cigarette. The deception involved is to promote the idea that ambient tobacco smoke (such as indoors) – which contains only a small fraction of the “4000 chemicals”, i.e., remnants of smoke, and at trace levels – has thousands of chemicals, are not only toxic but “more toxic” than mainstream smoke, and that nonsmokers are exposed to this “extremely toxic” soup:
    “Secondhand smoke in enclosed spaces is extremely toxic for everyone.”

    But the insanity doesn’t stop there. It makes a number of claims about SHS and childhood illnesses which date back to the agenda-driven childhood section of EPA (1992/3). These are population-level attributions based on questionable studies and questionable causation that have no extrapolation potential at the individual level. For example, in the absence of any other information, how would a medico be able to distinguish glue ear “caused” by SHS as opposed to any other factor(s) in individual cases and would he be willing to put up all his material goods that he can? The entire [questionable] “causal” argument is statistics-based and agenda-driven, and not from an understanding of underlying causal pathways.

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  44. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Good job, Kathy! I floated that ole softball over the plate and you knocked it way into the outfield. But seriously, what do freedom and responsibility mean to you? Do they mean the same thing to everyone?
    Is freedom the “if it feels good do it” for conservatives? Is your freedom limited in any way by your responsibility to others? Do you have any responsibility to others?

    So many questions!

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  45. Some History says:

    Sorry, Dom, that’s not correct. The earliest reference to “no safe level” of tobacco smoke is in 1992 (see Godber Blueprint):

    Working Papers in Support of the 8th World Conference on Tobacco or Health: Building a Tobacco-Free World. March 30 – April 3, 1992
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    “The scientific evidence linking ETS to death and disease is clear and overwhelming : There is no safe level of exposure for the carcinogens found in tobacco smoke. Victims of ETS are called involuntary smokers or passive smokers . The only way to protect people from the dangers of ETS is to keep tobacco smoke out of our indoor air . The prevention of involuntary exposure to ETS should be a priority for tobacco control advocates worldwide.” (p.79)

    It is a concept floated by the antismoking fanatics at one of their social-engineering conferences. And this was some time before the notorious (agenda-driven) EPA (1992) report declared SHS as a health hazard. The concept then cropped up years later through the Office of the SG (no risk-free level) that is also dominated by the same fanatics.

    Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) is the USA federal regulatory authority governing indoor air quality. It doesn’t view typical encounters with INDOOR, let alone outdoor, ambient tobacco smoke as problematic – well within permissible exposure limits for constituents. Antismoking fanatics NEVER refer to OSHA …. for obvious reasons. See the Godber Blueprint for how the antismoking fanatics tried to bully – and failed – OSHA into declaring tobacco smoke as carcinogenic with no safe level.

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  46. Some History says:

    An example of how an idea – thirdhand smoke” is conjured. With no evidence whatsoever, the idea is “linked” to “health hazard”, i.e., inflammatory propaganda. Then, with constant repetition by so-called [medical] authorities, nonsense becomes a “fact”.

    Barham [with the Arkansas State Health Department] added that even though under state regulations people must leave a hospital’s campus to smoke, it doesn’t make it safe.
    “Even third-hand smoke when it’s in your hair or on your clothes can affect a person that is sensitive,” he said. “People who are in the hospital that are critically ill are in that category for certain.”

    “My husband smokes and, although he never does it around the kids, the smell lingers in the car and on his clothes. How can I convince him that leftover smoke smell matters?

    You’re right about what we call third-hand smoke, or THS. Firsthand smoke is inhaled into the lungs. Secondhand smoke clouds the air and is inhaled by everyone else. And then, after the smoke clears, there’s residue left on clothes, carpets, floors, walls and upholstery. That’s THS.
    It’s toxic, and some of the carcinogens it deposits — which can be picked up by others — include hydrogen cyanide, butane, toluene, arsenic, lead, carbon monoxide and polonium 210. At home and in the car, your kids are especially susceptible to THS toxins if they’re crawling over floors, carpets or upholstery.”

    To be clear, “thirdhand smoke” is not smoke at all. It refers to a few remnants of what was once smoke (e.g., particulates, nicotine). These remnants are at trace levels, on the edge of detectability. There is no evidence of “toxicity”. There are no studies that even address, let alone demonstrate, any detrimental health effects from these few remnants. [Also, Dr. Oz is referring to some smoke constituents – as coming off the lit tip of a cigarette. I’m not aware of any studies that indicate the constituents he refers to as even trace residues] Therefore, to refer to these barely-detectable, trace-level remnants as “toxic” and as having even potential detrimental health effects is a straight out lie, i.e., inflammatory propaganda. To even refer to them as peculiar, giving them a special/separate name (thirdhand smoke), is an orchestrated misrepresentation with the intent of lying about “hazard”.

    The military, too, pushes the insanity:

    This level of absurdity has attracted even the selective ire of the antismoking zealot responsible for the Chapman Trick and other trickery:

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  47. tootightmike says:

    Give up your stinky third-world habit and you wont have to stand out in the cold.

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  48. Ken Hall says:

    I came from a family of 4 smokers and 3 non-smokers. Although statistically an insignificant sample size the three of 5 siblings in my family who did not smoke are still alive the two that did died relatively young; sister 53 congestive heart failure and heart attack, brother 45 malignant brain tumor. Both parents smoked; father from age 13-14 to age 35+, quadruple heart bypass at age 80, died at age 94 minus 10 days; mother smoked from age 18-19 (subsequent to meeting my father) to age 50+ at which point she survived a heart attack and underwent bypass surgery around age 53, after living the last 25, or so, years of her life with a very debilitated heart and multiple other heath problems she died at age 79 .

    I find it amusing that the same folks who comment in favor of smoking rights also comment in favor of 2nd amendment rights, right to life, small government good, big government bad, business good, jobs over environment, religious rights, ., ., ., ., ., global warming is nonexistent.

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  49. Marlo Stanfield says:

    Tootight, smoking is already banned inside at Paul Smith’s. This is about banning it on campus outside.

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