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Peer pressure enough of a smoking ban enforcement for some Ohio State officials, students

tobacco ban

Though there will be no police enforcement of the Ohio State campus tobacco ban, some officials and students, including OSU’s interim president, believe peer pressure will be enough to make people kick the habit.

OSU Interim President Joseph Alutto said the tobacco ban will make smokers feel uneasy about smoking on campus.

“We’re going to make it … as uncomfortable as possible for you not to be consistent with the values of the institution,” Alutto said in an interview with The Lantern Sept. 23. “If you want to call that coercive, then yes, it’s going to be coercive.”

Alutto said instituting the ban without initial enforcement will give students, faculty and staff who smoke time to adjust to a smoke-free campus.

“We’re not going to come down and hit you on the head at the beginning and say you have to do it,” Alutto said. “We’re going to give you time to adjust and time to understand why, and we’re going to work with you to get to the point where we think makes sense for your lives and our lives as well.”

In July 2012, the Ohio Board of Regents, an Ohio governing education body, passed a resolution recommending that all Ohio public universities work toward becoming tobacco-free. In April, OSU’s Board of Trustees voted to institute its own university-wide ban beginning Aug. 1.

Besides cigarettes, the tobacco ban includes tobacco chew, snuff and snus, which is a “spitless,” moist powder tobacco pouch, according to the American Cancer Society.

However, enforcement of the ban was pushed back to January in order to allow for more thorough education of the policy, OSU spokesman Gary Lewis told The Lantern in August.

The ban will be enforced through OSU Human Resources and the Student Conduct Board.

Peter Shields, deputy director of the Wexner Medical Center James Comprehensive Cancer Center, said the enforcement will not be any less effective just because it’s not a legal matter University Police would be able to enforce.

“There is a misconception quite frankly that police are the only methods of enforcement,” Shields said. “When someone shows up late to work at the university, you don’t call the police. When a student cheats on a test, you don’t call the police. We enforce student policies through the student mechanisms and councils, and we enforce policies for employees … through policies for staff through HR.”

The Wexner Medical Center area has been designated as tobacco-free since 2006 and has strict punishments for employees caught smoking, Shields said.

“The Med Center … will fire people if they are caught smoking on campus after two times,” Shields said. “They did that after many years of what they considered culture change and education so that they felt like enough people got the concept, and they had all their systems in place for counseling people to stop smoking and employee orientations.”

Shields said he hopes OSU will never have to enforce that level of punishment for the entire university.

Alutto said he does not think OSU will ever need to be a big part of enforcing the tobacco ban because disapproval from students and colleagues will be enough.

“Your friends will be asking, ‘What the hell are you doing?’” Alutto said. “Ultimately that’s the enforcement we should have here. It’s the informal enforcement of colleagues. People care about each other. That’s consistent without our historical values system. It’s not consistent for us to be arresting people, giving them summons and doing all the heavy handed enforcement that you can do in other institutions and it’s accepted as a norm.”

Some smokers on campus said peer pressure will make an impact.

“If you are smoking outside and people see you and you are not supposed to smoke, having them telling you not to smoke will cause an impact,” said Daniel Ospina Acero, a second-year graduate student in computer engineering who smokes.

Other smokers on campus said a tobacco ban enforced by only peer pressure will not have a substantial impact.

“There is already the stigma and you are already getting dirty looks from some people,” said Jon Bauer, a first-year in pharmaceutical science who smokes. “People are going to keep smoking just as they are now. It’s an addiction. If you try to ban it, it is not going to suddenly make people quit on a certain arbitrary date in January.”

Shields said students might eventually volunteer to be trained as ambassadors to go around and inform those smoking on campus about the tobacco ban.

“It depends on how many students volunteer to do this, but for sure it helps,” Shields said. “It is a simple sort of training, to be polite when (you) go up to someone and say, ‘Hey, the policy here is that you’re really not allowed to smoke.’ If someone becomes belligerent, they (the students) will be trained to walk away.”

Brock Keaton, a first-year in business who is a nonsmoker, said enforcement is going to be the hardest part of implementing the smoking ban.

“Smoking has kind of always been a part of American culture,” Keaton said. “There are a lot of people that do smoke so there is going to be a lot of resentment towards this … Enforcement is the main problem with the smoking ban on campus.”

Keaton said if smokers are told by students not to smoke on campus, it will have a greater impact than if the message came from an official.

“It would be more effective coming from a student or a friend rather than an authoritative official because it’s our school, too,” Keaton said. “We all care about it.”

Bauer said the tobacco ban will eventually help smokers to cut back and quit smoking.

“Eventually it will (be effective),” Bauer said. “Subconsciously, there is going to be an effect and it will be another thing that makes me want to quit and quit sooner. I think it is kind of good for smokers in a way.”

14 comments

  1. If you are majoring in a Health Science or work in the medical field, you should already not smoke. What hypocrites!

    Smoking nurses/doctors are the worst kind of scum.

  2. Are smoking healthcare professionals worse scum then child molesters?

    Let’s turn everyone into smug little smoking cops

  3. You might be a smoking child molester for all we know

  4. This pretty well destroys the Myth of second hand smoke:

    http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/28/16741714-lungs-from-pack-a-day-smokers-safe-for-transplant-study-finds?lite

    Lungs from pack-a-day smokers safe for transplant, study finds.

    By JoNel Aleccia, Staff Writer, NBC News.

    Using lung transplants from heavy smokers may sound like a cruel joke, but a new study finds that organs taken from people who puffed a pack a day for more than 20 years are likely safe.

    What’s more, the analysis of lung transplant data from the U.S. between 2005 and 2011 confirms what transplant experts say they already know: For some patients on a crowded organ waiting list, lungs from smokers are better than none.

    “I think people are grateful just to have a shot at getting lungs,” said Dr. Sharven Taghavi, a cardiovascular surgical resident at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, who led the new study………………………

    Ive done the math here and this is how it works out with second ahnd smoke and people inhaling it!

    The 16 cities study conducted by the U.S. DEPT OF ENERGY and later by Oakridge National laboratories discovered:

    Cigarette smoke, bartenders annual exposure to smoke rises, at most, to the equivalent of 6 cigarettes/year.

    146,000 CIGARETTES SMOKED IN 20 YEARS AT 1 PACK A DAY.

    A bartender would have to work in second hand smoke for 2433 years to get an equivalent dose.

    Then the average non-smoker in a ventilated restaurant for an hour would have to go back and forth each day for 119,000 years to get an equivalent 20 years of smoking a pack a day! Pretty well impossible ehh!

  5. This pretty well destroys the Myth of second hand smoke:

    http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/28/16741714-lungs-from-pack-a-day-smokers-safe-for-transplant-study-finds?lite

    Lungs from pack-a-day smokers safe for transplant, study finds.

    By JoNel Aleccia, Staff Writer, NBC News.

    Using lung transplants from heavy smokers may sound like a cruel joke, but a new study finds that organs taken from people who puffed a pack a day for more than 20 years are likely safe.

    What’s more, the analysis of lung transplant data from the U.S. between 2005 and 2011 confirms what transplant experts say they already know: For some patients on a crowded organ waiting list, lungs from smokers are better than none.

    “I think people are grateful just to have a shot at getting lungs,” said Dr. Sharven Taghavi, a cardiovascular surgical resident at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, who led the new study………………………

    Ive done the math here and this is how it works out with second ahnd smoke and people inhaling it!

    The 16 cities study conducted by the U.S. DEPT OF ENERGY and later by Oakridge National laboratories discovered:

    Cigarette smoke, bartenders annual exposure to smoke rises, at most, to the equivalent of 6 cigarettes/year.

    146,000 CIGARETTES SMOKED IN 20 YEARS AT 1 PACK A DAY.

    A bartender would have to work in second hand smoke for 2433 years to get an equivalent dose.

    Then the average non-smoker in a ventilated restaurant for an hour would have to go back and forth each day for 119,000 years to get an equivalent 20 years of smoking a pack a day! Pretty well impossible ehh!

  6. Utter garbage.

    Try again, I think you’ll find this more informative:
    http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/secondhand_smoke/general_facts/

    It’s not only a public health issue: it’s plain disgusting and smelly. The bigger picture here is spreading awareness about the dangers of smoking to the smokers themselves.

    And don’t think smoking only causes lung and head and neck cancers; it is one of the leading causes of urinary bladder cancer. Think about it: all of those toxins and organic waste sitting in your bladder. The toxins, excreted renally, come into contact with the lining of the bladder for long periods of time. (This is just one example, many kinds of malignancies can result)

    Understanding the physiology is the first step to understanding what is slowly killing you and how. Understand how the toxins damage your cells, their DNA. Understand how at a neurological level, your brain is enslaved to nicotine, acting as an ACh antagonist.

    Try quitting. You’ll have more money in your pockets. You’ll cut your risk of heart disease and cancer significantly within the first few years. You’ll live a longer, healthier, happier life. Not doing so, just for the sake of your most primal and vulnerable neurological craving is doing yourself the greatest disservice.

  7. YES – let’s force everyone to be healthy and happy like we are.
    If you smoke, you worship Satan and must give up your Sin.
    Smokeless is just invisible Sin – you still give up your soul to Satan
    and we can not allow that.
    Just take healthy living persons as your role model as we, the Health army, do.
    Vegetarian, animal loving and absolutely anti-smoking paragons like Hitler.

  8. No one is forcing you, Sergor. All we are saying is if you quit smoking and worshiping Satan, you will be happier and healthier. Just looking out for you.

    I am an animal lover–they’re delicious!

  9. My problem is not with the ban, it is with the definition of the word tobacco:

    Tobacco is defined as all tobacco-derived or containing products, including and not limited to, cigarettes (e.g., clove, bidis, kreteks), electronic cigarettes, cigars and cigarillos, hookah smoked products, pipes, and oral tobacco (e.g., spit and spitless, smokeless, chew, snuff) and nasal tobacco (e.g. snus). It also includes any product intended to mimic tobacco products, contain tobacco flavoring, or deliver nicotine other than for the purpose of cessation.

    That is the word for word from the policy.

    I have smoked for 10 years. Recently, I have switched to a propylene glycol electronic vaporizer. There have been no studies that have found any of the health related issues connected to these. In fact, many countries have embraced them as a healthy alternative to smoking tobacco and the most effective way to quit smoking. I tend to agree. But under this definition of tobacco, my vaporizer is an “electronic cigarette”. And, under this verbiage, candy cigarettes are tobacco. This is ludicrous. This is lazy policy making and skates on the wrong side of morality for a public university.

  10. Funny how no one compares a speed limit to a restrictive Government, but a ban on smoking, which is dangerous to those WHO DO NOT smoke, is intrusive.

    I say smoke away in the privacy of your own home. Good for you. Just as when you want to drive 115 mph, rent time on a local racetrack.

  11. It’s a real shame that OSU includes e-cigs in the ban, but does not ban nicotine inhalers. It’s unfair. If they really cared about people quiting, they would allow them to use tools such as e-cigs that help people. I smoked for 30 years and the ecig was the only method that worked. Now I can’t use it on campus. The arguments they have are senseless, basically they ban it because “it resembles smoking”. If they really cared they would not ban them.

  12. In other words, Alutto is openly encouraging bullying and harassment of smokers. I hope that enough people defy his politically-correct dictatorship.

  13. The cessation of smoking may be difficult to achieve as there may have been a dependence on the substance.

    In order for your electronic cigarette to function properly, you need to make sure that the batteries are charged.
    It has been about six months since I started using the e-cigarette, and I smoke three or less regular cigarettes
    a day, and it still saves money.

  14. Fabulous, what a website it is! This webpage gives helpful
    facts to us, keep it up.

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