October 28, 2009

Should lawprofs be prodding students about their health habits?

"They will be armed with small cards that detail the school's impending ban on smoking or using tobacco products anywhere on campus, indoors and outdoors...."

Lawprofs, drafted into the army of nannies. (Our students are adults, I shouldn't feel that I need to point out.)


kentuckyliz said...

When our campus restricted outdoor smoking areas to designated locations, the campus director (who is not my boss) asked us the employees to say things to people who violated and help enforce it.

Yeah, right. Smoking police is not in our job description. There are signs posted. I am not a sign.

Such behaviors would reduce our credibility as counselors and law professors.

"And you, a law professor!"

AllenS said...

Other than reminding them to use a condem, no.

WV: reedem

Reed 'em and weep.

MadisonMan said...

It's stories like that that make me wish I was a big potential donor who smoked. It would be enjoyable to visit the campus and light up. I wonder if anyone would say anything?

traditionalguy said...

They are doing everything they can to expand the government work force regulating a no longer worthy to be free people. So join in their games or be left in the rearview mirror. Individual responsability is the enemy of today's smiling tyrants.

Anonymous said...

It's not an "army of nannies."

It's an army of Nazi's executing a final solution to smoking.

Greg said...

Most college profs are enthusiastic supporters of the creeping nanny state (host is an exception). So suck it up and be a nanny, dignity be damned.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Just one more step toward hearing Paperien bitte

Jeff with one 'f' said...

"Our students are adults, I shouldn't feel that I need to point out."

But we'll always be children in need of supervision by Big Nanny....

Kevin said...

Just one more step toward hearing Paperien bitte.

Документы, пожалуйста.

Anonymous said...

What does being an adult have to do with anything anymore. The the state looks upon us as only (a) sources of revenue and (b) potential health care costs. Anything that interferes with (a) or increases (b) must be combatted with every effort.

kentuckyliz said...

AllenS, use a condom while smoking? That could be awkward.

Ann: if you wanted to nag people about smoking, you should have gone to medical school instead of law school.

TMink said...

I worked at a community Mental Health Center for awhile. They wanted me to go in the booth with men taking a drug test to watch to make sure that the guys were not using the wizzinator.

I set my fee at $150 a sample but they turned me down.

I guess I am just too expensive to spend time with other guys in the stall.


bearbee said...

Widener is one of a growing number of law schools..

Law schools at the fore?

Concern over health or lawsuits?

Next - trans fats?

First they came for my cigarettes, and I said nothing. Then they came for my taco chips....

Unknown said...

A law school prohibiting a perfectly legal activity- outdoors. How rich. If smoking is sooooooooooooooo bad, why doesn't the government ban tobacco products? Even a state government can do it. If the stats are true and smoking is on a sharp decrease, the tax revenue cannot be that great.

Question? What is their "recreational drug"policy?

Scott M said...

Quoting Leela, captain of the spaceship Planet Express Ship, circa 3000AD, "everyone knows 21st century colleges were just expensive, glorified daycare".

AllenS said...

Liz, if condems are getting in the way of your smoking, you're doing something wrong. Unless it's a cigar, then I'll understand.

Kevin said...

Question? What is their "recreational drug"policy?

...or since gay sex is far more likely to transmit HIV than heterosexual sex, is it OK to ban gay sex for health reasons?

bagoh20 said...

Students should hand out cards to the profs that say:

"Students are adults. Mind your own business and stick to what I'm paying you for."

traditionalguy said...

The rules are now reset. As long as the tyrant smiles while he/she makes you wait in line and accept his lying nonsense as wisdom of the ages, than he will not cut off your free government benefits. By the way, how is Free Health Care going in Congress today?

Michael Haz said...

Heaven forbid that those students who are studying law should be expected to actually obey rules. What heresy!

Anonymous said...

My undergrad banned smoking and now the once-beautiful campus is now littered with cigarette butts (they removed the ash trays but no one stopped smoking).

At my law school, where smoking is permitted, smoking is discouraged not by faculty members armed with cards but by other students. Every has to pass by the smokers when they enter and exit the law school and it is not uncommon for friends of smokers to ridicule them as they pass by.

Richard Dolan said...

Enforcing virtue against unwilling slackers has a long history, but it's not a tradition that the American academy usually looks to as a guide or exemplar. In ancient society, the demands of civic virtue required all to defer to state relgious cults. The fate of Socrates shows what happened when one strayed too far from the virtuous path. After Constantine made Christianity the state religion, the bishops eventually incorporated the same program throughout Christendom, as Europe was then called. The ostensible goal -- securing the health of the soul rather than the body, and preventing dangerous contagions (heresies and the like) from spreading in the larger community -- justified all manner of coercive measures: the Index of forbidden books, the Inquisition, the suppression of Albigensians and other heterodox sects, and on and on. Macchiavelli famously noted the political necessity of enforcing allegiance to the state religion, and Rousseau took it one step further and demanded that the State should force men to be free.

It's quite remarkable that our academic worthies make the same arguments today as were made then, both in Athens and later in Rome, to justify the necessity of forcing unwilling slackers to be virtuous. All that's changed is that "virtue" is conceived in secular rather than religious terms (at least here; in Iran and elsewhere in the Islamic world, it's still religously conceived).

Today's academic worthies evidently want to run their own little Inquisition or play the mullah, with power to stage and auto-da-fe or issue fatwas to make us all better. I suppose it's a way of showing respect for the classics, but that's not normally what the phrase is intended to convey.

Scott M said...

All that's changed is that "virtue" is conceived in secular rather than religious terms (at least here; in Iran and elsewhere in the Islamic world, it's still religously conceived).

I’ve never once heard someone, who either claims to either be a self-described atheist (very rare as most are agnostics without knowing it) or overtly anti-religion for whatever reason, give me a good answer about virtue or morality in the absence of a “higher power”. I’m with the nihilists on this. If there is no creator, then there is no morality because man is just another animal and there is no naturally occurring morality. Thus, anything that anyone claims to make a right action right is artificial at best. This also applies to cries of immorality or fundamental rights.

Old RPM Daddy said...

From the article:

The smoking ban at the University of Arkansas had a significant effect on campus, said law school communications director Andy Albertson, who served on a committee that recommended the smoking ban.

"You just don't see people smoking on campus much anymore," he said.

Banning smoking on campus leads to reduced smoking on campus? Yes, I guess that would be a significant effect.

While I can understand reasons for restricting smoking to certain areas (it does stink and it is messy, after all), the absence of bans against other unhealthy activity suggests that health of the students isn't the primary concern here. I've often wondered if the sometimes militant opposition to smoking is rooted in snob appeal somehow, i.e., smoking is something that uncool people do. You know, commoners, Wal-Mart shoppers, those kinds of people.

wv: feeku. Bill presented in Japanese poetry format.

bagoh20 said...

Smoking bans in open areas exist because people love to control each other and spread their personal preferences and footprint. Like dogs pissing on trees.

Smoking has the special attribute of being widely accepted to be injurious to others (however poorly founded). This just makes it easy to get approval to piss on others which would be desired anyway but hard to get enacted.

Many people would love to ban fast food, baggie pants, short pants, rap music, etc. It just is not widely agreed upon yet. People don't really believe in respecting the liberty of others. That's why we should fight for liberty even when we want to pee on that same tree. Sooner or later you are the tree.

Robohobo said...

Just another brick in the wall to my argument about lawyers, bankers, accountants and politicians.

Should any young student express the desire or declare one of the above majors, before they receive their degrees they must show proof of sterilization. You can be one, but I sure as he!! do not want them breeding more.

Crass I know, but who cares? Not me.

traditionalguy said...

Fighting Smoking everywhere is a Milkrun. Which reminds me of my favorite short story called "The Milkrun" which is a tale within James Mischener's Tales of the South Pacific. Find it and read it for a great experience.

Cedarford said...

Kevin said...
Question? What is their "recreational drug"policy?

...or since gay sex is far more likely to transmit HIV than heterosexual sex, is it OK to ban gay sex for health reasons?

Great sarcastic points!

rhhardin said...

The way out of such programs is embracing them too enthusiastically.

Print up ten thousand cards and scatter them everywhere so it becomes a constant litter problem.

Triangle Man said...

If banning smoking were not bad enough, I understand that Wheaton College and BYU have outlawed sex between consenting adults on campus. How dare they presume to establish standards of conduct in direct contravention of the rights guaranteed to them under the Constitution?

Unknown said...

Scott M --

"I’ve never ... absence of a 'higher power'."

I've never once seen anyone live up to the virtue and morality demanded by a 'higher power'. What's your point?

Rick Lockridge said...

Look, I'm as libertarian as anyone here but there is a reason we must have government-imposed smoking bans and that reason is smokers themselves, who believe they have a God-given right to assail the senses of anyone and everyone unfortunate enough to come close to them.

Nobody is ruder than smokers who light up in places like movie ticket lines, building doorways, and other places we nonsmokers can't reasonably be expected to avoid. And I mean, NOBODY.

The ashen-faced addicts have brought this still-growing cascade of smoking bans on themselves and it is well past time for it to happen.

What is so hard to understand, here?

Your "right" to indulge your habit ends at the invisible but no less real boundary where you and I might be ordinarily expected to share the atmosphere.

And if that is in a public place, ANY public place, then the social (and, coming soon, LEGAL) obligation is on YOU to delay your self-gratification until you can find a more appropriate place, not on ME to avoid you or to accommodate your nasty habit.

I'm seeing in these posts the typical hysterical responses (OMG! Nanny state!); misdirection plays (why don't we police ALL bad health habits?--As if my eating a donut caused you, sitting nearby, to endure a stinging stink cloud) and intellectual dishonesty (well, it hasn't really been PROVED that secondhand smoke is a health hazard)....

Leave health aside for a moment. We don't even need that, because I win on this angle alone:

Your smoking in a shared space to which I have an equal right deeply, truly, SERIOUSLY offends me in a very real and physical way. It is an unprovoked assault on my person.

And yet, I don't want to make smoking illegal--I just want to make smokers go somewhere else. Like way over there.

No, farther.

Keep going.

See those other blogs over there? The ones for arrogant, self-loathing, really awful-smelling people? Yeah. Just keep going and you'll get there.

So anyway, don't bother trotting out the slippery slope argument, or that "Final Solution" bullshit.

Nobody is going to get rid of smoking. Too much money in it for the farmers and the oncologists. We all know that.

The original post is about another issue--whether the university is going too far in trying to turn its profs into smoking cops.

But the whiny selfishness of the future tracheotomy patients on this thread (whine aloud while you still can!) was just too much for me.

If you smokers just did the right thing and refused to light up wherever a nonsmoker might be present, and when in doubt JUST ASKED FIRST, we wouldn't need smoke cops.

You are not victims here, and people who hate your constant stink are not persecuting you.

On the contrary, we are reacting to your assault on us in a very rational way. And by the way, there are 81% of us and 19% of you, so get used to it, bitches.

pst314 said...

"Look, I'm as libertarian as anyone here"

No you're not.