And So Begins the War on Tobacco — and Food!

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Bwog just heard word that this July, Governor Paterson signed legislation making smoking illegal in all New York college dormitories — this includes EC! 

A pair of RAs also noted that at least for Columbia, the mere possession of tobacco products is forbidden. 

In other crackdown news, one Bwog staffer was removed by security this morning for eating some delightful breakfast treats in a Lerner computer lounge. The no-eating policy in the computer lounges is nothing new, but now it seems it’s actually being enforced, which is just awful.  

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  1. wth

    i'll blacken my lungs if i want! and what about hookah??

  2. yoyoyo

    speaking of computers, columbia gave away a ton of computers/monitors/printers in front of lerner last week. and they even had the good sense to take the hard drives out! although i didn't see why they had to take the ram out too.

  3. finally

    They should ban smoking on campus, period. And whoever smokes indoors is an inconsiderate douchebag.
    Regarding the eating incident, yeah it sucks, but frankly I was getting pretty tired of the sticky keyboards and mice on the public computers.

  4. anon

    what does it mean that the possession of tobacco products is forbidden? isn't that an issue of state law, not RA policy?

    • yoyoyo

      It seems "tobacco products" refers to pipes, bongs, vaporizers, hookahs, nargile, whatever, not cigarettes.

      relevant section:

      Recognizing the demonstrated health and safety risks of smoking, that the majority of undergraduate students do not use tobacco (Columbia University ACHA-NCHA, 2005), the New York State law prohibiting smoking in campus housing, and that many students have expressed a desire for smoke-free living spaces, all Columbia owned and operated undergraduate housing spaces (including, but not limited to, residence halls, fraternity and sorority housing, and other group residential facilities.) are designated as nonsmoking.

      Due to the safety and health risks, the University requests that those who choose to smoke do at least 20 feet away from undergraduate housing and dining buildings. Further, marketing, advertising, sampling, sales, or other distribution of tobacco products in or within 20 feet of an undergraduate housing property is prohibited. Smoking devices including, but not limited to, hookas & water pipes, other pipes, and vaporizers are prohibited in all undergraduate housing property and surrounding area. Enforcement of the policy is the responsibility of all members of the Columbia community and may be reported to any member of the Residential Programs, Housing, or Public Safety staff.

      • So...

        "Smoking devices including, but not limited to, hookas & water pipes, other pipes, and vaporizers are prohibited in all undergraduate housing property and surrounding area."

        So, what's the 'surrounding area,' exactly? Is it just within 20 feet of dorms?

  5. sick and tired

    considering tobacco is not illegal and we're all rational people that can make their own decisions and of age to smoke, on what grounds should smoking be banned on campus?

    • Utilitarian

      If you were just poisoning yourself, that might be true. But those huge clouds of smoke outside Butler at night are incredibly fucking irritating to those of us who prefer not to inhale your cigarette fumes. And smoking in one's room makes that room smell like cigarettes more or less forever, which is rather inconsiderate. There's absolutely zero reason why people need to smoke on campus. Take your vile habit elsewhere.

      • sick and tired

        Utilitarian? Well congratulations on completing CC! I would say people need to smoke on campus because they live on campus. But if we are going in this direction, maybe we should ban drinking on campus because people stumbling around drunk are an annoyance to all and vomit in elevators and bathrooms are rather inconsiderate as well.

        FYI, I don't even smoke so how about you take your vile holier than thou attitude elsewhere.

  6. oh really  

    "And smoking in one's room makes that room smell like cigarettes more or less forever, which is rather inconsiderate."

    Oh really? So I suppose every dorm on campus must smell like cigarettes and will remain to smell so FOREVER since they have must have been smoked in during the past? I imagine back in the day students were smoking in classrooms too. I am sure nearly every student was smoking in dorms several decades ago.

    "There's absolutely zero reason why people need to smoke on campus. Take your vile habit elsewhere."

    That's such a dumb claim to make. I could say the same about masturbation, or eating candy.

    In short, go fuck yourself utilitarian cockroach.

  7. also  

    "more or less forever"
    haha, idiot

  8. clarification  

    The policy doesn't seem to forbid the possession of tobacco products (i.e. cigarette). It just bans "smoking devices" like hookas and pipes. This is probably to crack-down on drug use more than anything else.

  9. Dude

    Smoking is the stupidest way to get cancer. Do yourself and others a favor and quit.

  10. #7 again

    People who drink to excess are equally stupid, but at least they can't force us to drink their alcohol. Is there really any redeeming value to smoking? Should Columbia encourage it? Is it that difficult to go smoke off campus, in a location where non-smokers aren't forced to cough through a cloud of noxious fumes to get to the library? Eating candy and masturbation don't harm anyone, so that's a rather false analogy. You can mock your own Columbia education all you want by deriding CC, but that doesn't make you right. There are no benefits to allowing smoking on campus, and several benefits from banning it (reduced fire hazard, no fumes).

  11. sometimes

    i'm tempted to say things like "I hope anyone who smokes dies a painful death," but then I realize they will anyway. Enjoy your laryngectomies!

  12. "on what grounds"

    Dude, you're living in privately-owned buildings. You're entitled to basic tenants' rights and that's it. Deal with it, or move off-campus.

  13. Junior

    So no more smoking hookah on the steps? Are RAs actually going to enforce this policy?

  14. oh no  

    I'll stop smoking in my room if my neighbors stop their "band practice"

  15. ...  

    well if they're going to enforce these sorts of rules, then they should probably start a program in health services that gives away free nicotine patches. (that is, unless they already have one)

  16. have you noticed

    how in conversations like this non-smokers always seem like the biggest dicks in the entire world?

    i wonder why that is.

    • Obvious

      Because society pays for smokers to expel a cloud of noxious gases at us. Smoking is demonstrably bad both for the individual and for society.

    • have you noticed

      how in conversations like this it's only ever the smokers thinking the nonsmokers seem like the biggest dicks in the entire world?

      to everyone else, they're just acting rational...which is a lot easier to do if you don't have a serious drug addiction...

  17. ...

    if it's that big of a deal, why not find a few friends and live off-campus? if you find a three or four bedroom apartment, it can be even cheaper than living in columbia housing. and nobody to tell you what you can and can't do.

  18. but

    smoking impacts non-smokers lives for the most part in negligible ways (having to walk through these "all-consuming smoke maelstroms" that exist almost nowhere, smelling something they don't like) yet the degree of ferocity is so uniform. it seems way out of step.

    • Let's see...

      Does having relatives get lung cancer as a result of smoking qualify as "negligble"?

      • Then..

        ...why not criminalize alocohol? This argument is ridiculous, since almost anything has any risk attached, and naturally, that risk carries over into relatives, or otherwise. There was a terrible major plane crash in Madrid yesterday - should we make flying on commercial planes illegal since relatives are impacted in non-negligible ways? What about driving? Or eating red meat?

        Having spent a lot of my life in Europe where smoking doesn't quite yet enjoy the persecution it does here in the States, people should nevertheless have the maturity to realize that others should have the ability to smoke, drink, or do whatever else they please to their own bodies. The only jurisdiction Columbia has here is because it is their own property - therefore, they can impose whatever reasonable rules they want. I don't think one has many tenants' rights when they dorm at Columbia.

  19. haaaaaa

    how did i know that someone would pull out that strawman immediately?

    not that it matters, but my dad died of lung cancer. for that, i criticize the man and not the activity. he was an adult. free to make adult choices.

    now, please, try again. try not to trip over yourself jumping immediately to "waitresses" because adults are also free to work wherever they please. particularly in the service industry.

    • Uhhhh....

      How is that a strawman?

      The Straw Man fallacy is committed when a person simply ignores a person's actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position. (

      Smoking is a bad choice, but after a while, it grows harder and harder to make any other choice. I've seen people in serious nicotine withdrawal. It's ugly.

      I just don't understand your argument about smoking, though. Sure, it's an adult choice (though one often marketed to children and teenagers). But how can you say it's a bad choice (which it clearly is) but then "not criticize the activity"?

      Also, many cities are now banning smoking in restaurants and bars, so the "waitress" argument is, indeed, a straw man (setting up an easily defeated argument and then knocking it down).

  20. #4 to #7/#14

    1) there is no medical way you can have any negative health consequences from inhaling secondhand smoke for a few seconds on your way in and out of Butler, unless you're a very severe asthmatic, in which case you shouldn't be living in NYC anyway because the air quality is terrible.

    2) where else in NYC can a smoker go? There is an indoor smoking ban--that rules out bars, restaurants, clubs, etc. Outside? That works during the fall or spring, but in winter what's a smoker to do?

    3) there are actually many health benefits associated with smoking, though the risk of dependency makes it impractical for doctors to prescribe it in most situtations. see here ( for some.

    4) newsflash: despite what you were told in middle school, not all smokers get cancer, just like not all drinkers get cirrhosis of the liver. I smoke about a pack every two weeks. There is little-to-no risk of cancer associated with that amount of nicotine.

    5) you are a bigot and a fool.

  21. um...

    i'm not a smoker but I don't have a problem with people smoking. People choose to have different life styles and you gotta respect that. I think it's stupid to ban smoking from campus and I don't think it will work at all

  22. EAL  

    I say, Bwog, I should damn well be entitled to smoke a pipe with my brandy whilst I read the Wall Street Journal in my room. Or be free to enjoy the usual cigar on celebratory occasions. I am not a chain smoker, but shouldn't I be free to have the option?

    Good sirs, this is America, right?

  23. damn yo

    i was merely pointing out that fellatio (aka pole smoking) confers more objective health benefits and fewer health risks than tobacco. I furthermore may or may not have suggested that one of the other commentators has a certain Oedipal preference. Cool down with the censorship, bwog!

  24. Fourth Reich

    why does columbia have such ridiculous totalitarian aspirations? No smoking within 20 feet of a residence hall? A crime to possess hooka instruments? Why not go ahead and register and mark all smokers? It'll be easier once the administration decides to round them up

  25. ...

    I don't smoke but I think all the anti-smoking stuff is a bit unncessary...... Walking through a cloud of smoke isn't the worst thing in the world... Let the addicts have some freedom...

  26. liz

    i love all the bitches who are walking through the "cloud" of smoke outside butler and have to pretend to cough up a lung, tb-style. we get your point. you don't like smoke. now walk faster.

  27. uhh

    just get a suite and smoke all you want... i spent 4 years smoking ridiculous amounts of pot out of huge bongs 24 hrs a day and never had one single problem. and i wasn't the only one. so just chillll....

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