I thought of this while dropping off my son at UWM's Sandburg Hall dormitory. The cloud of smoke outside of the front entry was worse than in the small tavern/restaurant where I dined on Saturday. It came from a cluster of 18 to 20 year old dorm residents. I found it disgusting to see these intelligent young people addicting themselves to tobacco, and exposing my son to this poison.
These are children. They are our future. And the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee condones it.
The Wisconsin State Senate has been spending substantial time and energy trying to stop old men from smoking in bars, but they allow these children to smoke on campus. That is wrong.
Before even thinking of banning consensual activities on private property, the Senate needs to address the health of employees, students and visitors on state owned property. I don't mean just the buildings. I mean everywhere on state property, indoors and out. Here is my proposal (so far):
- All state property will be smoke-free. Including college campuses, state parks, the Capitol Square, and all property surrounding state owned or leased buildings. That list is just a start.
- Smoking breaks are not allowed during working hours for state employees. We pay a large portion of their health insurance. While at work our employees need to adopt healthy lifestyles.
- All public schools in Wisconsin will be smoke-free zones. No smoking anywhere on these properties - that means outside, too. We cannot be too careful about our children's health, and need to avoid teachers being role models for smoking.
The answer to my question: The tavern is more appropriate for smoking. In fact, there may be no more appropriate place to smoke on this planet than in a bar.
And remember, it is for the children.