I haven't read the act itself, and I'm not even sure I think the premise is sound. But the Time article that made me aware of this little gem is making me crazy with the silliness already.
"It's one thing to stop smoking indoors, but who are they to control what happens outside?" says Steve Dugan, a 20-year-old freshman at Clarion University. "To do so is an infringement on our fundamental right to personal choice."Really? In case you haven't noticed Steve there are infringements on "our fundamental right to personal choice" (what does that even mean, honestly) all the time. It's called living in a society. It may be my fundamental right to punch you in the gut for blowing smoke in my face, and sure I can exercise that right, but there are consequences, which are in place to protect you from my rights as it were. The consequences both of smoking oneself and subjecting others to smoke are well documented. So why does your "fundamental right to personal choice" get to trump my right to lead a life without having carcinogens blown into my face?
Then there is the keeping the children safe argument:
"Do we really want 18-year-old girl walking by herself off-campus at 2 a.m.?" Dugan asks. "All we're asking for is a compromise that considers students' needs here."Hey, I wanted to drink Stoli on my way to English comp class, and I wasn't allowed to do that, even though I had a drinking problem. Since when do laws or even campus policy have to be ordered in such a way to benefit addicts?
In response to all this, students have been holding "smoke-ins" on all affected campuses over the last week and a half. Because that's a great way to garner sympathy: increase your smelly output. As I said, I haven't read the law, and escaped law school by the skin of my teeth and therefore can't say whether such a thing is actually infringing a bit too much on all those pesky rights of ours. But it would be nice to not have to hear shit like this:
So much for diplomacy and compromise. I might as well just start punching people in the gut if I'm going to eventually die from lung cancer due to their carelessness anyway.
"If I'm going to get in trouble for smoking outside," Slippery Rock University senior Alex McGill told her campus newspaper, "I might as well just light up in class instead of going out in the wind and rain."
I'd like to state for the record that, not only would I have probably said the immediately above when I was a 21-year-old smoker, but I probably would have followed through. And yes, I put the Stoli in an orange juice container and still aced Expos.