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News: Anti-Tobacco Madness Roundup

23 Feb 2012

The professional anti-tobacco activists are on the march, and their target is your right as an adult to enjoy a premium cigar. Here are three recent stories that show that no matter what they say to appeal to reasonable people, their goal is always the same: restricting your free choice as an adult to use tobacco.

Campus Smoking Bans Spread

Over 600 colleges in the U.S., supposed bastions of multiculturalism and tolerance, have banned smoking on campus. Those in favor of such bans will claim they protect people from secondhand smoke, but their actions show that such a claim isn’t true.

Campus bans routinely include both outdoor and indoor spaces, and make no distinction between instances when others could possibly be impacted and when they definitely are not. Proving that paternalism and the desire to control adults’ behavior (even when no one else is affected) drives such bans, one Florida college official attempted to justify extending the campus smoking ban to personal cars by saying, “We don’t want your car to be a safe haven, where you do any activity you want as long as you’re in your car.”

Public Health Official: Smoking is More Dangerous than Suicide

How dogged and single-minded are anti-tobacco zealots in their advocacy against smoking? Take a look at Dr. Gregory Calkins, director of the Miami University Student Health Center. In response to a question about the dangers of hookah smoking, he actually said this: “First, smoking is the single most harmful thing we can voluntarily do to our bodies. It is most definitively the most dangerous thing one person can choose to partake in.”

Fortunately, one student wrote a letter to the editor calling out Dr. Calkins’ idiocy and providing a list of things that one could do to oneself that would cause immediate death, all of which would be, according to a good doctor, more harmful than smoking. Citizens of Ohio, your tax dollars are paying this man’s salary.

Federal Health Bureaucrats: States Should Ban Smoking in Cars

Campuses aren’t the only ones banning smoking in cars. The federal government is trying to get into that game too. According to the Associated Press, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now advocates that all states pass laws preventing adults from smoking in cars when children are present. But don’t think for a second that their quest will end there.

First, the same logic that would justify a car smoking ban would also support a ban on smoking in the home when children are present. After all, people spend far more time in the home than in cars, so exposure is likely to be greater there. Second, remember that these people also subscribe to the theory that “third-hand smoke” can be just as harmful as “second-hand” or “environmental tobacco smoke.” As one car expert points out, given that a child could be in a car (or house) at any point in time after someone smoked there, total home and car smoking bans may not be far off.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

4 Responses to “News: Anti-Tobacco Madness Roundup”

  1. Mike Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 7:52 am #

    I went to Miami of Ohio and that comment really upsets me. It must be nice to have a government job, doing "research" all day that no one cares about until you attack someone else's rights. Want to know why we have a deficit? Because morons like Dr. Calkins are paid enormous amounts of money to do nothing but read and write on "breaking research" all day. Sign me up please! It'd be great to not have to work for a living.

  2. Rogers71 Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

    They won't rest until tobacco is completely wiped from the face of the Earth! The anti-tobacco zealots should take note of how well (or, rather, how poorly) Prohibition and the War on Drugs worked/are working.

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