An Ideological Crusade (or, a gross waste of my tax dollars)

So, the Provincial Government is planning to implement a tobacco free campus initiative, and certain members of campus are just too overjoyed at this.

I currently sit on the committee which looks at Policy 15, which will be drastically revised to ban all sales of tobacco and tobacco related products from campus grounds. (Do I smell a lawsuit from Shoppers?)

Forgetting about the tyrannical aspect of this legislation for a second here, I simply do not see the point of its existence. This whole project only works if you presume that a smoker will quit smoking if this policy/and Provincial legislation is put in place. If there are people who actually believe this is going to follow, enlighten me as to how.

From my experience we will always find out where we can get smokes, even if we have to hop on a 17 and run to Safeway on Sasamat. So the whole effect of this is merely a redistribution of wealth to outside of the borders of campus grounds, and potential loss of a leases in the Student Union Building (ie Lucky Market) and University Boulevard (Shoppers). Well, maybe not Shoppers. Oh by the way, this will not make us stop smoking. Any arguments of trying to protect the non-smokers from second hand smoke therefore quickly degenerate.

This ideological crusade is a feeble attempt secondary to violating an individual’s liberty. And it will also only pass legislature because the smoking population (15%) is a minority in BC. If this had applied to alcohol, there would be much greater objection.

Nevertheless, my final point is this: while we are driven by this benevolent mission to rescue people from their obvious health catastrophe (oh let me be your saviour, you misguided lamb), the very UBC members spearheading this with valor are conveniently forgetting the fact that their very pension plan is heavily invested in tobacco companies. While their entire life mission may be to make people quit smoking on campus, what they fail to address is their own deeply rooted systemic reliance on Tobacco companies.

(Timeline: this is going to Board on May 7, circulated around the community for “consultation”, and then voted on at the next Board meeting.)


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