University Of Maryland Bans Smoking On Campus, Follows National Trend

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Smoking is bad for you. We all know that. It was drilled into our skulls from day one of that ridiculous D.A.R.E. program in elementary school, and has continued since then in many other forms. It’s ridiculous. If you don’t want someone to do something, the best solution is not a bunch of hand-wringing over how bad that thing can be. Humans are naturally curious and rebellious. We’ll do it anyway, because “fuck you, authority.”

Maryland apparently didn’t get the memo, though. In an effort pushed hard by the SGA, Board of Regents for the USM system, the university administration and pretty much anyone with any level of power, the ban is now officially in place. A previously organized campus smoke-in, put together by the campus Republicans, never materialized for one reason or another (an update I may provide in the comments if my buddy texts me back), so the ban passed into official policy today, with nary a protest over its implementation. I have to say, putting it in place over the summer was a genius move, because no one is here to protest it, even if they wanted to.

This move comes as many other universities nationwide are doing the same, or have done the same in the recent past. A cursory Google search shows that at least five or six other major institutions have proposed or passed bans, with one notable example being vetoed by Governor LePage of Maine for state institutions.

This is another shitty case of the government over-reaching on something they have been pushing hard to accomplish. Personally, I don’t really smoke, except when I get really drunk and someone offers me one, but I will defend the right of smokers to do so, because the campus is certainly large enough to accommodate them and everyone else.

The only glimmer of hope out of this thing is the existence of a few designated smoking areas on campus. Predictably, they don’t seem to be all that convenient, and they aren’t even all that large. In his email to the student body, President Loh had this to say:

Today a new policy takes effect that will make the University of Maryland a smoke-free institution. The policy, adopted by the Board of Regents last year, required that every institution in the University System of Maryland develop a plan to achieve this goal. The policy applies to everyone on campus, including visitors and contractors. It covers all buildings and all campus property, except for four designated smoking areas.

The Campus Affairs Committee of the University Senate reviewed the USM policy and made recommendations for the UMD-related policy. The University of Maryland strives at all times to provide a respectful, supportive environment. This smoke-free policy is no exception, and I ask each of us to do our part.

We have an opportunity to make this a constructive experience that will promote our community’s health and wellbeing, and at the same time provide support to those who want help to quit smoking. We have considerable smoking cessation resources on campus, such as those available at the University Health Center. More specific information is available online at: www.smokefree.umd.edu

Thank you for your assistance and support. We must all work together to implement this new policy for the benefit of our entire University community.

Here’s the link to the smoke-free page, if you’re a fan of the usual health center line on the issue and want to physically gag over how corny their commentary is.

God damn it, President Loh. What am I supposed to do while drunkenly wandering around campus at night now? Chew bubble gum?

[via Huffington Post, Press Herald]

Image via Scoan London

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    • -1
      Pat McGroin

      It is. And you had the choice to do whatever you wanted up until January of 2009. Wouldn’t it be sweet to deny smokers and drug users Medicaid coverage, though? It’d help take out some of those moon crickets a little quicker.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 1 year ago
  1. 46
    TrickleDown

    The extent to which smokers has been demonized is fucking ridiculous.

    I don’t smoke a lot but occasionally I enjoy the casual cigarette. The lady at the gas station gave me the rudest when I asked for a pack and rolled her eyes after having been otherwise nice to me. Fuck that.

    ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 1 year ago
    • 0
      TrickleDown

      ^^I know she was doing it because she thought she was looking out for me, and I guess I appreciate that, but it’s fucking annoying that people are so hypocritical about it. Chocolate is bad for you, alcohol is bad for you, soda is bad for you, but nobody treats you like a social leper for buying those things.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 1 year ago
    • 0
      zackbroller

      I don’t understand why gas station attendants feel the need to throw life advice down peoples throats. One lady told me “you shouldn’t wear a hat. You’ll go bald, and you have nice hair.” Ridiculous.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 1 year ago
    • -1
      ny_frat

      I’ve gotten a cigarette ripped from my mouth at a party on more than one occasion by people who thought it was “bad”. I was outside and minding my own business, people need to lighten up.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 1 year ago
  2. 20
    J_Brum

    How are they gonna enforce that? Is campus security gonna come around Van Wilder style in their rent-a-cop golf carts?

    ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 1 year ago
    • 0
      Wheres the pledge

      I took a summer class at a community college that was “smoke free” but they didn’t enforce it. I smoked wherever I was and never got stopped for it… Good luck trying to enforce this shit on a legitimate university.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 1 year ago
    • -1
      Whiskey_Ginger

      I believe the police and police auxiliary have the power to enforce. With their jurisdictions expanding, this sucks ass indeed. RAs are also asked to help enforce the ban, which might work on North Campus, but where I was, most of us didn’t give two fucks if you had a party with 80 people, let alone smoked outside.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 1 year ago
  3. 7
    phi_man

    many schools in my state NC were built from Tobacco taxes pretty much. But they love to pretend like its not a important revenue source.

    ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 1 year ago
  4. 5
    dunkleman

    The anti-smoking bandwagon is getting way out of hand. At least they aren’t labeling big tobacco companies as homophobic racists or anything… oh wait a fucking second… yes they are.

    ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 1 year ago

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