Monday, March 23, 2009

We want your feedback!

Thank you for coming to HKB's blog dedicated to informing the Hopkins Community about our efforts to make Homewood a 100% smoke-free campus. Below, you will find posts focusing on each area of our Smoke-free Campus Proposal. Please read each section in its entirety and leave a comment with your feedback and suggestions. Keep in mind, this blog represents a proposal, which is subject to change based on feedback. We greatly appreciate comments that offer improvements and bring to light areas not already highlighted.

The mission of Hopkins Kicks Butts is to promote a healthier campus community through activism and awareness against tobacco use. The purpose of this policy is not to infringe upon anyone's rights, but to promote the well-being of the student body by reducing exposure to secondhand smoke.

Click here for a recent article in the Newsletter about our efforts.

Please note, we respect your opinions and encourage any questions or criticisms, but please keep all comments clean and polite. As representatives of JHU, all parties must be respectful. Any comments including derogatory or explicit language will not be posted. Comments in support of the proposal are also appreciated.

Thank you,
Hopkins Kicks Butts
A Center for Health Education and Wellness Group

Notice:
Because HKB is a Center for Health Education and Wellness student group, the comments must be moderated before being posted to ensure no derogatory or explicit language is used. All other comments will be posted, but it may take time for them to appear. We will update the comments regularly, but unfortunately, it cannot be instant. Please check back often to view comments. Thank you.

24 comments:

  1. You're takin' away our rights!!!

    I THOUGHT THIS WAS AMERICA.

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  2. and you have to approve every comment..no wonder there's none up yet....you all should be ashamed!
    to quote randy marsh:

    I THOUGHT THIS WAS AMERICA!

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  3. I think it is completely wrong to ban smoking on campus, and I am not a smoker. We are an outdoors campus. Students who want to smoke should have the right to do so. To ban smoking within 10-20 feet of entrances to buildings is understandable. However, to ban smoking all over campus and tobacco sponsored events should not be allowed. We should be a progressive campus that emphasizes the rights of people. It should be a person's right to choose to smoke. Further, the argument that the US supports a citizen's right to life is more so an argument of a VIABLE life. For some people, a viable life entails smoking. Therefore, they should be allowed to smoke outdoors. If you don't like it, step away. I have been on this campus for 4 years and never have I had to deal with smoke from cigarette smokers that was not my choice.

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  4. This is absolutely absurd. I'm not a smoker (recently quit), but I still feel as though people who smoke shouldn't be sectioned off into remote areas, especially in parking lots. I agree with the 50 feet from the building entrance, to some degree. It's not necessary, but I feel as though it's a decent compromise. However, we are all adults here, and I have a right to smoke if I see fit. If you're walking, and you don't want to smell the person's cigarette, hold your breath. Slow down and let the smoker walk ahead of you far enough so that you don't smell it. But who is anyone to tell the person that they cannot smoke just because it is unpleasing to someone else? I don't like to see morbidly obese people. Can we tell them to stop eating, or hide themselves away so I don't have to see them? No.

    Honestly, this policy would be infuriating to the degree it would make me want to pick smoking back up just out of spite.

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  5. Randolph CockrellApril 23, 2009 at 6:07 AM

    I understand the motivation behind a smoke-free campus initiative. Really, I do. As a smoker, that really would like to quit, I feel the world that was tolerant of my addiction rapidly shrinking. There is no more smoking in the workplace, when businesses used to have "smoking rooms". There are no more smoking sections in bars and restaurants. I'm sure at the rate that this social crusade is going, I won't be able to smoke on my front porch, to protect the "public air". As much as I hate the fact that I smoke, I am an American, with "inalienable rights", or at least I thought. Every 1 flight you take on a commercial airline creates more airborne toxins than a smoker could dump into the atmosphere in 3 lifetimes. Alcohol causes more deaths than smoking, but you can partake of it publicly, in a restaurant, until you are visibly sloshed and unfit to drive! I could sit next to you and smoke a pack of Newports; it will surely make you cough and everyone will be very offended, but it won't cause me to kill innocents on the road. I think that those that start initiatives that, from a smoker's standpoint, create a hostile workplace, should put themselves in our shoes for a minute. Did they ever think of starting a campus-wide smoking cessation program, so that people can actually kick the habit, rather than submit to a physically oppressive mandate? The only thing this will create is a few cubby-holes that smokers will sneak off to, huddling together in the cold, stealing a puff. If you've ever been around a smoker that has been without a cigarette for a few hours, they aren't the most pleasant to be around. By all means, conquer the Evil Axis that is tobacco, but don't reduce smokers to POW's. It's the same as the war on drugs, address the addiction first; it is a disease, not a crime.

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  6. Folks, let's be honest here. This has nothing to do with a healthy environment and everything to do with discrimination, pure and simple. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that people are harmed by the minimal amount of secondhand smoke they may inhale by walking (usually quite rapidly) by a smoker standing outside. This can be no more harmful than living in a crowded city full of cars, buses and factories spewing all manner of carcinogens into the air. What I find most laughable is that a whopping group of "8 to 10" students have devoted themselves to this issue. Perhaps the number is so small because the majority of our students are devoting themselves to more worthy causes, such as the newly formed Campus Kitchen group. Those students are trying to feed the hungry; you are merely trying to impose your will on others.

    I would caution those 8 to 10 of you to be careful. You've started this campaign because you don't like smoking. You think it's "disgusting" and you don't want anyone to do it. But you're trying to make it sound like a health issue. So, let's consider another recent article that hit the news:

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/04/20/thin.global.warming/index.html

    Hmmmm... actual scientific evidence that heavy people are impacting the environment. Maybe we should form a campus group to protest! I mean, these people aren't just impacting a few folks on the Homewood Campus -- they are destroying the very planet! So, I propose mandatory BMI testing of everyone at Hopkins. Those with a BMI over 25 will be subjected to a strict diet and a healthy dose of exercise. They will also be forced to eat outside, in full view of everyone and in any kind of weather, where they can be constantly harassed by those who are disgusted by their weight.

    Those with a BMI over 30 will be summarily shot. They are obviously addicted to food and shall be considered a lost cause.

    And, once this world threat of obesity is abolished, we'll go after the girls who wear tights as pants. It will give Hopkins Kicks Butts a whole new meaning. And, in my view, a more worthwhile one.

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  7. While I appreciate those who do not want to take in 2nd hand smoke, I believe there should be designated areas where those who are addicted to nicotine may go to smoke. Those who are not free to come and go as many students are, cannot travel to Charles Street to have a cigarette. This proposal will impact many employees who work here.

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  8. I appreciate that over 300 other schools have already gone smoke free. Has HKB spoke to any of those schools about backlash, implementation, or overall support on their campus? I have a friend as Stanford (a smoke-free school) and she says while there are people who tend to break the policy occasionally, it's generally widely received. I think you have a long road in getting support. The transition phase is going to be hell for you guys to deal with.

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  9. To the long winded answer, even outside smoking DOES pose risks.

    http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2007/may9/smoking-050907.html

    Who are you to judge what people spend their time focusing on? Even a small group of people have made big movements possible. Yes obesity is a problem. It's impossible to focus on every issue in the world. This is just one issue that this particular group has chosen to focus on. Do I agree that campus should go 100% smokefree? No. I do think their should be smoking areas though. Why should I have to "hold my breath" so that someone else can puff away. He wants that cigarette. I need that air. Your argument is just ludicrous.

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  10. Agree with the last poster. I have as much a right to smoke-free air as a smoker has the right to smoke. Yet I am the one that has to dodge the smoker and hold my breath, not vice-versa. Seeing an obese person doesn't exactly harm your health, while inhaling smoke does. And you can argue that there are other things that cause more pollution, but at least they have a _benefit_ to them (I can fly from one side of the country to another but what benefit do a derive from a cigarette?).

    And yes, this is America. For those of us that actually learned about our Constitutional rights would know about this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shouting_fire_in_a_crowded_theater. Not exactly the same thing, but freedoms aren't unlimited.

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  11. From the article you cited: Unlike indoor tobacco smoke, which can persist for hours, the researchers found that outdoor smoke disappears rapidly when a cigarette is extinguished. "Our data also show that if you move about six feet away from an outdoor smoker, your exposure levels are much lower," Klepeis added.

    Moving six feet away vs. a campus wide ban seems a little less extreme to me.

    And, just to be clear, I could have chosen any number of causes as an example. The bottom line is that a very, very small group of students want to impose their will on the entire campus simply because they do not like smoking. The fact that they are trying to make this into a health issue is what's ludicrous.

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  12. While I do not agree with a 100% ban on smoking, I feel the HKB and Hopkins community can arrive at a reasonable compromise.

    I enjoy my cigarettes, but I'm also aware that it is my personal choice. I do not smoke indoors, nor around children or pets at any time. I'm rather sensitive and empathetic.

    If the truth is that non-smokers don't want to be around it, then place sufficient smoking areas along lesser used routes. For instance, the south side of the library has considerable more foot traffic than the north. Therefore, the north portico presents a suitable place for a few benches and ash trays.

    Let's not stress ourselves over something that has an easy solution.

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  13. I'm not a smoker, and i just want to say that even i think this proposal is not sound. First off, the national average for smoking is 22.2% of the population. 8-10 people comprises about 0.22% of the hopkins population. Is it not a little absurd that a group 1% the size of another group is trying to completely overrule them?

    Yes smoking is bad. But we go to hopkins, people know smoking is bad and choose to do it anyway. By prohibiting smoking, your not educating people, your simply forcing them to stop smoking on campus so that you don't have to "dodge" a smoker once every other day.

    Secondly, to the comment saying obesity doesnt immediately affect your health. No, while it does not immediately affect your health, it is a growing epidemic that is seriously hurting our health care system and society. When a third of our children are obese and risk onset diabetes, i think we need to act.

    Smoking disgusts you non-smokers, so you think the only solution is to prohibit the smokers. This is analogous to me, as a skinny person, finding obese people disgusting and wanting to prohibit them from walking on campus. They hurt my eyes, although no permanent damage is done to me, so therefore i want them taken away. They still exist, they're still obese but as long as i dont see them on campus, i think that that's fixed the problem...

    By prohibiting smoking, your not promoting the health of smokers but rather just taking a little annoyance out of your life at the expense of making another person go through many troubles.

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  14. If you keep reading, the post shows that there are over 600 signatures from Hopkins people who are in support. I'm one of them. Yeah, 8-10 people may be taking the lead, but 600 others are supporting their efforts. They also talk about working on health education and cession programs. It's fine to critique, but at least read the entire proposal.

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  15. This is awful and you all should be ashamed of yourselfs.

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  16. I don't smoke. I've never even picked up a cigarette. I did try tobacco hookah once when I was in the Middle East, but that was a time and place sort of thing.

    I think banning smoking on campus is silly. Banning smoking indoors? Totally fair. Banning smoking within a certain distance of buildings? Also fair. Advertising the effects of smoking? Heck, that's a public service. But why ban it entirely? If the previous two criteria are met, then the rest of us don't have to deal with second hand smoke.

    We're all adults, and adults can make their own decisions. If people want to smoke, and it isn't bothering anyone else, then I don't see why it shouldn't be allowed.

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  17. Yes smokers have rights but those of us who don't smoke have rights too. I shouldn't be subjected to inhale your smoke if I don't want to. I have the right breathe clean air.

    The plan to ban smoking on campus won't prevent you from smoking around Charles Village. There will be plenty of public space to do whatever you want. It does, however, give those of us who don't smoke, the opportunity to breathe freely.

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  18. I am certainly in favor of programs to help people stop smoking and avoid second-hand smoke, but not in this way. I suggest that smoking be banned up to 50 feet away from dormitories and perhaps the library, and that is it. Many people on this campus have been adults for a very long time, and smoke for a variety of reasons that are their own. It is outrageous to push them all the way off campus as punishment for a very private and complicated behavior. As for second-hand smoke, as a community we inevitably absorb the effects of one another's bad behavior, and this seems like one of the least common trespassings onto the community's health. As residents of Baltimore, the air we breathe and the water we drink is of more concern to me than occasionally getting caught behind a smoker on my way to class. How about a plan that will facilitate more healthy eating and exercise on campus, both of which make smoking less appealing, along with some reasonable smoke-free zones? Everything in moderation!

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  19. Nictotine has been proven to impair the development of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Smoking has also been linked to preventing certain types of skin, breast and thyroid cancers and ulcerative colitis.

    Obese people never did that for me, nor did radioactive, noise polluting, driver-distracting, cancer-causing cell phones.

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  20. If you think you have a right to free air do you think you can ban farting on campus? I for one think its more offensive to my nostrils.

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  21. A total smoking ban on campus is a very dictatorial solution to a very simple problem, which has been solved across the country with much more open-mindedness than the proposal we see from Hopkins Kicks Butts. Though 600 signatures have been gathered in support of this proposal, I feel that one could also gather a large number of signatures against this proposal. This "survey" of sentiments on campus done by Hopkins Kicks Butts seems rather biased, as it only collected one group's opinions. Personally, I feel that it is a bit strange that we are even discussing this sort of authoritarian proposal on such a progressive institution. There are so many more areas of interest both on and off campus in which our efforts would be more constructive.

    Also, if Hopkins Kicks Butts truly wishes for an open forum, this discussion should be held in public, at a convenient time and location. There should be much publicity regarding an open forum event to ensure that our diverse student body is well-represented.

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  22. To the previous poster. I would just like to defend that on February 5, 2009 at 7pm in Hodson Hall, HKB attempted to hold a Town Hall meeting to discuss the proposal. This meeting was publicized by Flash Ads, fliers, Facebook, and a Daily Announcement. Two students showed up to this event. Since that venue did not seem to be popular, we decided to make this blog public in order to garner more feedback from the student body. We fully expected this blog to be met with harsh criticisms. That is what we wanted to hear. As you said, those who signed the petition were clearly in favor. We wanted to hear the other side of the argument. Many others have offered input and ideas that we feel are extremely valid. This is the rough draft of a proposal, modeled after many of the other 300 schools that have currently gone smoke-free. We are well aware that Hopkins is an unusual campus and we wanted to be sure that the entire community had an opportunity to weigh in before any further steps were made. Whether for or against, all feedback is welcomed.

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  23. Nice name, but I prefer your rival Hopkins Kicks Fascism

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  24. How about getting smokers away from McCoy entrances? Campus wide ban seems out of reach so go for something that's doable within the next 5 years.

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Disclaimer

This blog is not meant to be a comprehensive alternative to the formal HKB Smoke-free Campus Policy Proposal. If you would like more information regarding data and research, or to request a copy of the formal proposal in its current state, please do not hesitate to contact HKB at HopkinsKicksButts@gmail.com. We are more than happy to supply you with any supporting documentation and further explainations.