From the nanny state to the babysitter campus: Colleges across the country are making moves to completely ban smoking on school grounds. While bans on lighting up indoors have been around for roughly a decade, the San Francisco Chronicle reports that many higher education leaders are working to prohibit outdoor smoking all over campus, from outside of university buildings to school sidewalks and benches. Schools like University of Missouri-Columbia and the City University of New York system will soon join over 700 schools nationwide [PDF] that currently have a zero-tolerance smoking policy.
Advocates of smoke-free colleges, like Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights (ANSR), argue that universities should play parent for college students. “[Colleges] are questioning what the role of tobacco is in academic settings, where we’re supposed to be standing for truth and training the next generation of leaders,” said Bronson Frick, associate director of ANSR.
But does campus nannying really count as training? Not according to Audrey Silk, the founder of New York Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment, who tells the Chronicle that universities are responsible for playing teacher, not doctor: "Schools are a business," she says. "It's their responsibility to educate. What they're doing is indoctrinating."
"This isn't a health issue anymore," Silk adds. "It's a moral issue. There's absolutely zero reason for a smoking ban outdoors."
Many of the already smoke-free schools, like University of Michigan, use a word of mouth campaign to enforce the ban, meaning if someone catches you sparking up, you could get a harsh talking to for choosing to smoke on campus.
For more on smoking bans, click here. And for Motley Crew’s awesomely coiffed take on smokers’ rights, check out the video below. Because, you know, everybody knows that smoking ain’t allowed in school.