Thursday, October 19th, 2017

Some still blow smoke at USM tobacco ban

One of the new “no smoking” signs posted at Luther Bonney Hall.
Alex Greenlee | The Free Press
One of the new “no smoking” signs posted at Luther Bonney Hall.

Posted on January 21, 2013 in News
By Tom Collier

Students returned to the University of Southern Maine last Monday to begin classes for the spring semester. For most students, that day also marked the first that the university’s new tobacco policy would affect them. In spite of the ban, some students still light up between classes on university property.

Student response to the ban has been mixed. While many appreciate the cleaner air provided by a smoke-free environment, others question whether the policy was fairly implemented. Gabby Foster, a senior spotted dragging on a cigarette near Luther Bonney Hall, and her friend Abigail Felker, a senior and non-smoker, both believe that the policy is well-intentioned but poorly executed. Both Foster and Felker questioned the true intent of the policy.

Felker, who is herself an asthmatic and sensitive to smoke in close proximity, said that while she didn’t smoke herself, she felt that a ban on tobacco infringed upon the rights of paying students.

Foster agreed. “[The new tobacco policy] is all about segregating smokers and trying to force them to quit. I’m not going to quit because someone tells me to — I’m going to quit when I want to quit.”

The two students pointed out that there were no designated smoking areas on campus where smokers might congregate without having to worry about offending nonsmokers with second-hand smoke. Felker suggested the placement of agazebo on the far end of the campus green that abuts Bedford Street and Brighton Avenue. Foster chimed in,  “Yes, this campus needs a butt hut.”

When asked whether she thought students would follow the new policy, Foster shook her head. “Nope,” she said, “definitely not.” She went on to cite her experience attending the University of Maine at Farmington, where she claimed that a similar policy had been implemented, only to be greatly ignored by the student body.

In a recent letter to students, USM President Theodora Kalikow said that the new policy was now “in a planned period of ‘transitional compliance.’” This planned period is projected to run through Sept. 1, 2013, after which, failure to comply with university policy will incur disciplinary action.

Public Safety officer Jeffrey Soper, when asked how Public Safety is currently enforcing the tobacco ban, said that if he sees a student smoking on campus, he’ll politely remind him or her that USM is now a tobacco-free university and encourage adherence to the new policy.

“Diplomacy,” he explained, “has always worked well for me in my 30 plus years of being a police officer.”

In regards to the effectiveness of the policy, Soper said that “for the most part,” he believed it to be working.  He did show potential concern, however, for the safety of student smokers living on the Gorham campus, who will be forced to smoke beyond university grounds and potentially close to busy roads, pointing out that his top priority has always been ensuring the continued safety of the students. “The students,” said Soper, “that’s who I work for.”

  • Eugenics: the California connection to Nazi policies

    Eugenics: the California connection to Nazi policies_SF Chronicle

    Mon, 10 Nov 2003

    On Sunday, Nov 9, the San Francisco Chronicle published an extraordinary, most informative article by Edwin Black, that sheds light on the role played by the American eugenics movement in the Nazi extermination policy. Eugenics is a pseudoscience whose purported aim is to “improve” the human race, while eliminating that portion of the race that eugenicists deem “undesirable.” The article is adapted from Black’s recently released book, “War Against the Weak,” published by Four Walls Eight Windows.

    Black shows that American eugenics played a decisive role in the adoption of racist and even lethal public policies in the US and then in Germany. Black writes: “Eugenics would have been so much bizarre parlor talk had it not been for extensive financing by corporate philanthropies, specifically the Carnegie Institution, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Harriman railroad fortune. They were all in league with some of America’s most respected scientists from such prestigious universities as Stanford, Yale, Harvard and Princeton. These academicians espoused race theory and race science, and then faked and twisted data to serve eugenics’ racist aims.”

    “Stanford President David Starr Jordan originated the notion of “race and blood” in his 1902 racial epistle “Blood of a Nation,” in which the university scholar declared that human qualities and conditions such as talent and poverty were passed through the blood.”

    “The Harriman railroad fortune paid local charities, such as the New York Bureau of Industries and Immigration, to seek out Jewish, Italian and other immigrants in New York and other crowded cities and subject them to deportation, confinement or forced sterilization.”

    The influence of American eugenicists was even more sinister. American eugenicists influenced the Nazi sterilization, experimentation, and extermination policies–including the medical atrocities first conducted on institutionalized disabled human beings–adults and children. What’s more, the scions of American philanthropy financed German eugenicists and actively supported their pseudoscientific research institutes.

    Therefore, no useful discussion about medical and behavioral research ethics can take place without an examination of the American eugenics movement. Yet, American bioethicists have studiously avoided a critical analysis of the eugenics movement, its lethal ideology, and its inevitably lethal “solutions.” By their silence, American bioethics seem to be attesting to the lingering, but covert influence of eugenics within the American healthcare and research community.

    Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Long Island, was a eugenics center founded by the Carnegie Institution. Among its activities was the stockpiling of “millions of index cards on ordinary Americans, as researchers carefully plotted the removal of families, bloodlines and whole peoples. From Cold Spring Harbor, eugenics advocates agitated in the legislatures of America, as well as the nation’s social service agencies and associations.” See also:

  • UniversityOfSadoMasochism

    You imply that turn of the century American progressives are like Hitler.

    How laughable. Did Hitler institute laws against drinking? No.

    Did American progressives carry out mass executions of Jews, homosexuals, and political dissidents? No.

    Were they the same? No.

    See, you’re what professionals call a moron. Symptoms include constipation of the brain and diarrhea of the mouth. Unfortunately, there are no known treatments available for such a crippling condition.

    Better luck next lifetime!

  • Lcole

    I think we should ban Ugg boots, which are both ugly and harmful to sheep.

  • Joseph Willingham

    Ironic that our state has that silly slogan “Breathe easy, you’re In Maine” when we have such high rate of air pollution here, what with all the stuff blowing from southern New England and the mid-Atlantic up here. Not to mention the fact that cars, busses, and trucks are forever spewing unhealthy gasses and particulates into the air.  Sure, clean it up by reducing a few hundred cigarettes a day, but that has zero effect on the air in Maine. And again, I state that the ban on chewing tobacco is a paternalistic attempt to tell people not to engage in a behavior that doesn’t affect anyone else.

    It’s unfortunate that the universities of the UMS have chosen to enact such policies that can’t be enforced without looking like a bully.

  •  They have created a fear that is based on nothing’’
    World-renowned pulmonologist, president of the prestigious Research Institute Necker for the last decade, Professor Philippe Even, now retired, tells us that he’s convinced of the absence of harm from passive smoking. A shocking interview.

    What do the studies on passive smoking tell us?

    PHILIPPE EVEN. There are about a hundred studies on the issue. First surprise: 40% of them claim a total absence of harmful effects of passive smoking on health. The remaining 60% estimate that the cancer risk is multiplied by 0.02 for the most optimistic and by 0.15 for the more pessimistic … compared to a risk multiplied by 10 or 20 for active smoking! It is therefore negligible. Clearly, the harm is either nonexistent, or it is extremely low.

    It is an indisputable scientific fact. Anti-tobacco associations report 3 000-6 000 deaths per year in France …

    I am curious to know their sources. No study has ever produced such a result.

    Many experts argue that passive smoking is also responsible for cardiovascular disease and other asthma attacks. Not you?

    They don’t base it on any solid scientific evidence. Take the case of cardiovascular diseases: the four main causes are obesity, high cholesterol, hypertension and diabetes. To determine whether passive smoking is an aggravating factor, there should be a study on people who have none of these four symptoms. But this was never done. Regarding chronic bronchitis, although the role of active smoking is undeniable, that of passive smoking is yet to be proven. For asthma, it is indeed a contributing factor … but not greater than pollen!

    The purpose of the ban on smoking in public places, however, was to protect non-smokers. It was thus based on nothing?

    Absolutely nothing! The psychosis began with the publication of a report by the IARC, International Agency for Research on Cancer, which depends on the WHO (Editor’s note: World Health Organization). The report released in 2002 says it is now proven that passive smoking carries serious health risks, but without showing the evidence. Where are the data? What was the methodology? It’s everything but a scientific approach. It was creating fear that is not based on anything.

    Why would anti-tobacco organizations wave a threat that does not exist?

    The anti-smoking campaigns and higher cigarette prices having failed, they had to find a new way to lower the number of smokers. By waving the threat of passive smoking, they found a tool that really works: social pressure. In good faith, non-smokers felt in danger and started to stand up against smokers. As a result, passive smoking has become a public health problem, paving the way for the Evin Law and the decree banning smoking in public places. The cause may be good, but I do not think it is good to legislate on a lie. And the worst part is that it does not work: since the entry into force of the decree, cigarette sales are rising again.

    Why not speak up earlier?

    As a civil servant, dean of the largest medical faculty in France, I was held to confidentiality. If I had deviated from official positions, I would have had to pay the consequences. Today, I am a free man.

    Le Parisien

  •  Heres a time line starting in 1900,dont be surprised to see the same thing playing out today nearly 100 years later.

    1901: REGULATION: Strong anti-cigarette activity in 43 of the 45 states. “Only Wyoming and Louisiana had paid no attention to the cigarette controversy, while the other forty-three states either already had anti-cigarette laws on the books or were considering new or tougher anti-cigarette laws, or were the scenes of heavy anti- cigarette activity” (Dillow, 1981:10).

    1904: New York: A judge sends a woman is sent to jail for 30 days for smoking in front of her children.

    1904: New York City. A woman is arrested for smoking a cigarette in an automobile. “You can’t do that on Fifth Avenue,” the arresting officer says.

    1907: Business owners are refusing to hire smokers. On August 8, the New York Times writes: “Business … is doing what all the anti-cigarette specialists could not do.”

    1917: SMOKEFREE: Tobacco control laws have fallen, including smoking bans in numerous cities, and the states of Arkansas, Iowa, Idaho and Tennessee.

    1937: hitler institutes laws against smoking.

  • No bullet or shotgun blasts in that sign yet! AMAZING! No smoking signs tend to have very short lived lives………..everywhere in the world

  • I like the smell of smoke. A camp fire, a good cigar ,and a blueberry field burning. Maybe not a camp fire burning swamp (skunk) maple. Sented candles make me sick, and a store selling them I won’t go in. Perfume in a lift I will get out on the next floor.  Don’t walk up to me and say put your cigar out if you have body lotion,hair spray,perfume,deoderant or Fabreese dried clothing.I know my spelling needs help but so does the English language.