UCSD Associated Students Want to Control You on Campus

Alec Weisman, Editor-in-Chief

According to several sources and an AS email, at todays Associated Students meeting they reviewed a presentation to BAN smoking at UCSD by “Chang[ing] the policy to designated smoking areas in the parking lots” and then rely[ing] on these “designated smoking areas [for] a gradual transition to a tobacco-use free campus.”

Now I don’t smoke and people can and should debate the merits of smoking, but it is a personal choice that people make to smoke and it should remain that way. However, I find the arrogance via the authoritarianism of UCSD Associated Students pathetic. Is there no part of students lives that you think you cannot control? The UCSD AS can claim to represent us as long as they like in their fantasy world, but you don’t. You cannot control how I think, as much as the UCSD Administrators would like to. You cannot claim to speak on my behalf, as much as you pretend to do. All you can do is to make a farce of the system of representative democracy and engage in same corrupt acts that you pretend to rail against. You hypocrites disgust me.

Below is the text of the resolutions:

Resolution 1, Supporting Adoption of Designated Smoking Areas

WHEREAS, the University of California, San Diego has a substantial interest in promoting the health of its student body; and

WHEREAS, part of the University’s educational mission is advancing the health and well-being of our region, state, nation and the world; and

WHEREAS, in the American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment surveying a random sample of UCSD students, 91% of respondents were neutral to strongly supportive of having designated smoking areas on the campus;1 and

WHEREAS, tobacco use is an addictive, unhealthy, and harmful habit as evidenced by the following:

• 443,000 people die from tobacco-related illnesses every year, making it the leading cause of preventable illness in the United States;2 and
• scientific studies have concluded that cigarette smoking can cause chronic lung disease, coronary heart disease and stroke, in addition to cancer of the lungs, larynx, esophagus, mouth, and bladder;3 and
• smokeless tobacco products and cigars are known to cause lung, larynx, esophageal, and oral cancer;4 and
• exposure to secondhand smoke is the third leading cause of preventable death in this country, killing over 50,000 non-smokers each year;5 and
• the Surgeon General of the United States has concluded that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke6 and
• any exposure to tobacco smoke – even an occasional cigarette or exposure to secondhand smoke – is harmful;7 and
• the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found secondhand tobacco smoke to be a risk to public health, and has classified secondhand smoke as a group A carcinogen, the most dangerous class of carcinogen;8 and
• the California Air Resources Board has categorized secondhand smoke as a toxic air contaminant.9

Therefore, be it resolved, that the organization listed below supports campus efforts to limit smoking on campus to designated areas only (such as parking lots) owned, occupied, or leased by the University.

    UCSD Associated Students

***

Resolution 2, Supporting Adoption of Tobacco Use Free Policy

WHEREAS, the University of California, San Diego has a substantial interest in promoting the health of its student body; and

WHEREAS, part of the University’s educational mission is advancing the health and well-being of our region, state, nation and the world; and

WHEREAS, tobacco use is an addictive, unhealthy, and harmful habit as evidenced by the following:

• 443,000 people die from tobacco-related illnesses every year, making it the leading cause of preventable illness in the United States;1 and
• scientific studies have concluded that cigarette smoking can cause chronic lung disease, coronary heart disease and stroke, in addition to cancer of the lungs, larynx, esophagus, mouth, and bladder;2 and
• smokeless tobacco products and cigars are known to cause lung, larynx, esophageal, and oral cancer;3 and
• exposure to secondhand smoke is the third leading cause of preventable death in this country, killing over 50,000 non-smokers each year;4 and
• the Surgeon General of the United States has concluded that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke5 and
• any exposure to tobacco smoke – even an occasional cigarette or exposure to secondhand smoke – is harmful;6 and
• the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found secondhand tobacco smoke to be a risk to public health, and has classified secondhand smoke as a group A carcinogen, the most dangerous class of carcinogen;7 and
• the California Air Resources Board has categorized secondhand smoke as a toxic air contaminant.8

Therefore, be it resolved, that the organization listed below supports campus efforts to eliminate the use of tobacco on campus and encourage the University of California, San Diego to adopt a completely tobacco-free campus policy including all indoor and outdoor areas owned, occupied, or leased by the University.

    UCSD Associated Students
    Resolution Citations

1. UCSD Office of Student Wellness, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Wellness Karen Calfas; UCSD Student Services.

2. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2008). Smoking-Attributable Mortality, Years of Potential Life Lost, and Productivity Losses—United States, 2000–2004. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 57(45):1226–8.

3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2010). Tobacco Use: Targeting the Nation’s Leading Killer.

4. Id.

5. Glantz, S. & Parmley, W. (1991). Passive Smoking and Heart Disease: Epidemiology, Physiology, and Biochemistry, 83(1) Circulation 1. See also, California Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Envtl. Health Hazard Management. (1997). Health Effects of Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke: Final Report.

6. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2006). The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health.

7. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2010). How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease: A Report of the Surgeon General. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health.

8. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (1992). Respiratory Health Effects of Passive Smoking (Also Known as Exposure to Secondhand Smoke or Environmental Tobacco Smoke ETS EPA/600/6-90/006F). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, Office of Health and Environmental Assessment, Washington, DC.

9. California Environmental Protection Agency Air Resources Board. (2006). Environmental Tobacco Smoke: A Toxic Air Contaminant.

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3 comments

  1. Let me preface this by noting I’m an ex-smoker – used to smoke about a pack a day – and quitting was one of the hardest thing I ever did. And, yeah, smoking is in my opinion incredibly unhealthy and addictive, and if you smoke the best thing you can do for yourself (note the two you‘s there – no UCSD) is to quit for good. But I’m also pretty libertarian in my views, and I completely agree with your assessment here.

    I personally strongly encourage everyone to quit, or to never try, smoking. But I would NEVER ever suggest that governmental entities of any sort should be able to regulate and restrict personal choice and behavior in this regard.

    I completely disagree with the first two WHEREAS clauses in these resolutions. The role of the University is to provide a quality education, not to attempt to dictate individual behavior or lifestyles, either at the campus level, nor especially at the level of the “region, state, nation and the world.” No one elected the University Queen Nanny over any person or area. Their entire assertion here is baseless, & it’s the only justification they give for violating individual rights in this fashion.

    I wonder how the Associated Students would feel about a complete ban on alcohol. Or poor sleeping habits. Or unprotected sex. Given the role they’ve assigned themselves and the administration in these resolutions, on their “substantial interest” (and absolutely no legal/constitutional authority) there would be no where to draw the line, if it involves anything they themselves designate as “health.”

    Or take it another way, assume vegetarianism was decided to be unhealthy (and there are arguments for that), how would the AS or the student body react to a resolution forcing students to eat chicken breast at least once a day?

  2. No one cares if you smoked at one time or another, no one cares if you “smoke a pack a day” right now. Make room in your own little mind for the possibility that when a person is smoking on the campus, on a walkway, it effects all those around that person who have to travel in that general direction. Smoking is not a personal experience it is a public one, when done in public space. The smoker has no control over where the smoke goes, it gets in the lungs of all the people who happen to be nearby. This is the major issue with smoking. There are other issues such as the health factor, the smell, the loitering, the trash from butts, the possibility of starting a fire. Face it people are health oriented these days, no one wants to breath dirty cigarette smoke on the way to class. Do you?
    You have lost more rights in this country with less fuss. Its the fact that so many people will be affected on a day to day basis and cannot quit because they are weak minded as to why this is even an issue. Not to say that if a ban were to happen that people would follow the law anyways. People smoke wherever, whenever, with no regard to the public good, or the thoughts of others, or even of the legal implications for themselves. Its a self-destructive drug, now go smoke a cigarette and comment on this.

  3. Debora · ·

    Don’t forget that their are many children who go through the parking lots to getto the college day care or Disability students with medical conditions that have to deal with second hand smoke (including cancer patients) going to school. Their are high school students who are minors and attend Community colleges and walk through the parking lots to get to the bus stop. It’s bad enough driving a car and I get your second hand smoke through the vent of my car~ Not on public campus too. It’s not the individual right here its the better of all through the indivual. Just don’t light up and you and I will live longer. How can that be harmful? Think of all the money you will save in taxes and purcasing a slow one way ticket to suicide.

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