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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Smoking Ban

Our university announced a smoking ban a while ago and inundated our mailboxes with notices, informing us that no smoking is allowed. Anywhere on campus! Not even in the parking lots! Or on the hiking trails! Anywhere! Ever! Huge fines await you! 

The campus was plastered with huge notices about the smoking ban. A no smoking sign greets you when you approach campus and long before any of the campus buildings are even visible.

And then I started noticing places around campus that seemed organized for smoking. They clearly weren’t spontaneous because there were cans for cigarette butts, and somebody was taking the cans away, cleaning them, and bringing them back again. There were many such smoking places, which had me confused because the ban still existed.

So I approached a group of smokers near one such place and asked them what was going on.

“Oh, they realized we were going to smoke anyway,” one student shared, “so they provided the trash cans for us.”

The student was right, and anybody with half a brain cell would know that you can’t keep smokers from smoking, especially in high-stress environments.

Everything is back to normal now: the same people smoke in the same places they used to smoke in. The only difference is that a sizable amount of money was wasted on printing notices and putting up signs.

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9 thoughts on “Smoking Ban

  1. Alex on said:

    Virtue signaling. The university has sent a message to make itself feel good. Because that is more important than buying books for the library or opening more class sections.

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  2. Stringer Bell on said:

    Strange. Our campus went smoke-free in 2014, and the ban has been super successful. I haven’t seen anyone smoking in years, not even in the dead of night when nobody’s around to enforce it.

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    • Our state governor is Rauner. We do what we have to do: smoke, drink, use drugs to achieve brief oblivion. It’s strange that the whole state isn’t shooting up heroin yet to find forgetfulness.

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    • JProf on said:

      Same at my campus. Completely smoke-free, and the ban appears to be successful. And I’m actually surprised that I don’t see a few people on occasion smoking outside, like visitors or new students who aren’t aware of the ban. We only have a few signs around on our very small campus, and they are easy to overlook.

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  3. Nelson on said:

    Two things I’ve learned: you can’t stop people from smoking and you can’t stop dog owners from leaving their dog crap all over the place.

    Off topic, but I saw this today:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/04/15/she-broke-the-story-of-chechnyas-anti-gay-purge-now-she-says-she-has-to-flee-russia/?hpid=hp_hp-more-top-stories_chechnya-1015am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.e3e8506560e9

    I read about the purge on this blog, but I didn’t know this story.

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  4. Stringer Bell on said:

    I also want to talk about this ‘virtue signaling’, a catch-all term that Trumpers have latched on to for dear life, like a talisman meant to ward off all influence of goodness.

    It says so much about them that they can’t envision some other human being being decent. It must all be an act, meant to attract facebook-likes. Speaking out against racism? Virtue signalling! Call yourself a feminist? Virtue signaling!

    The logic (if you can call it that) goes something like this.

    “I’m normal”.
    “I don’t care for any issue that doesn’t affect me personally. Women, gays, black and brown people can therefore go fuck themselves”.
    “Since I’m normal, and I hold these positions, the society at large also must hold the same positions.”
    “So, anyone opposing me must be dissembling. They must have some other ulterior motive. Because all normal people hate minorities!”

    Self-awareness is a very underrated quality.

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    • Anon on said:

      I’m not a Trumper. Far from it. But I’m in a department where the people who talk the loudest about their dedication to teaching also try the hardest to get out of teaching. I’m in a department where the guy who constantly made publicly announcements about his support for feminism also engaged in deceptions and mind games to undermine the confidence of female faculty. So I’m used to public proclamations of virtue by people who actually do the exact opposite. As Jesus said “Do not be like the hypocrites who love to pray in public where people can see them; amen, I say unto you, they have received their reward in full.”

      Yes, there are Trumpers and others who abuse the term “virtue signaling”, but it’s nonetheless a very real phenomenon. And the right has its own version of virtue signaling: The louder a conservative talks about “family values”, the more likely they’ll be caught in marital infidelity. The louder they talk about patriotism and freedom, the more likely they’ll vote for an FSB asset. The louder they talk about immigration the more likely they have hired an illegal immigrant housekeeper or nanny.

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  5. Our campus is “tobacco free”…I often wonder whether this means that geneticists are forbidden to do genetics research on tobacco plants, in addition to banning smoking, chewing tobacco, etc.

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