November 27, 2005


Finally!!! finally!!!! – link

The students have spoken!!!! No more horrible putrid smoke in the union. I can finally drink coffee in Rococos AND go to the union and not smell like a chain smoker. This is the best news to ever come out of the union.

I am so happy that the union was CLEARLY wrong about its catering to the majority by allowing smoking – students obviously don't like smoking. I have nothing against smokers but smoking in a confined place when other people don't want you to is unethical, disrespectful and must be banned.

I can understand that certain night events may be heavily effected, but maybe I am wrong, I hope more ppl will now be encouraged to go out!!!
lovin it…..

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  1. Also prepare for a sharp decline in Union services. Yay!

    27 Nov 2005, 16:50

  2. Wonderful! Another victory for the fun-hating control freaks! Woopity-fucking-do!

    27 Nov 2005, 16:58

  3. Larry Benjamin

    Don't blame the Union people Ed, they didn't want this. This was put forward by people who could only think as far as not liking being somewhere with smoke. They should try heading into the real world, where all the smoking students and their friends will be going soon leaving the non-smokers free in their Union with it's new cut backs in services.

    27 Nov 2005, 17:07

  4. No, I know the sabbs aren't responsible for this – just some sad little men and women with nothing better to do than stop other people enjoying themselves.

    I don't smoke, but it still angers me…

    27 Nov 2005, 17:19

  5. Dave Sparrow

    That's probably slightly harsh, but you're basically right Ed. The problem is that people haven't thought of the consequences here and haven't thought that a very large number of Union members aren't going to want to go the Union anymore. People talk about smoking like it's a completely free choice, completey forgetting that it's an addiction too, it's very hard to give up smoking.

    Blimey! Me and Ed Cooper agreeing on something! What's going on in the world.

    27 Nov 2005, 17:49

  6. Thank god all of you represent the minority at least the minority of those who voted. I absolutely resent Edward's remark that banning smoking is banning fun – you guys have the worst possible idea of fun possible -DEATH
    If you think smoking is so much fuckin fun good for you!!!! This isn't a victory for "sad little men and women" its for people who actually care about having fun and don't want to die having it! Get your perspectives right

    27 Nov 2005, 18:15

  7. "I absolutely resent Edward's remark that banning smoking is banning fun – you guys have the worst possible idea of fun possible -DEATH"

    Sorry mate, I absolutely resent people trying to control others' behaviour. If somebody wants to smoke and blacken their lungs, that's their issue. Nobody's forcing you to do it! Let people get on with their lives.

    By your logic, why don't we ban drinking? That causes DEATH - and unlike tobacco, can be dangerous in the short-term as well as the long. And I don't see many people smashing bottles, getting into fights and vomiting on someone's lawn just because they've smoked 10 marlboros.

    (Besides, the Union's going to lose a hell of a lot of money over this.)

    27 Nov 2005, 18:48

  8. Mathew Mannion

    The union's only going to lose money because they're going to cut all the good events

    27 Nov 2005, 18:54

  9. My predictions:

    (1) Smokers stop going to the Union. The Union realises, "oh no, we're in even more financial trouble than we were before, and cutting decent events is only going to make it worse!" and overturns the ban. To hell with democracy.


    (2) The Union fulfils the motion to the letter, closing all the decent events and slashing opening hours. Students start thinking (forgive my language) "fuck me, this is shit," and end up in Cov or Leam instead. Warwick's reputation takes a (deserved?) hit as having a rubbish Union.

    OR (my favourite)

    (3) People will continue to smoke at the Union. Union staff realise they cannot spend all night chasing down people with cigarettes, and ignore it completely. The ban, having spectaularly failed to accomplish anything, is forgotten.

    What do you reckon?

    27 Nov 2005, 19:16

  10. To Edward – Mate – I don't care if ppl want to smoke and kill themselves sooner – thts their issue and they have to deal withit. what annoys me is the second-hand smoke that cones along with it…..WHY on earth do I have to get black lungs just because some uncaring person wants to smoke inside the union?? I don't care if ppl smoke in their own rooms, outside, in their own cars, whatever......but why should us non-smokers have to suffer because of their desire to smoke?? i am sorry mate but your argument on letting them get on with it would only work if i did not also have to inhale smoke….

    To Alex – you are absolutely right, this union will do everything in its power to not ban smoking, they just won't do it even though a referenda was passed, some stupid excuse or the other will come up.

    27 Nov 2005, 19:33

  11. Neil

    With the bits in the policy saying what will be cut, there will have to be a smoking ban, cos the union exec knows where to get the money from to cover potential losses. If that wasn’t in there, they would have had to not be implemented it as there would be no specified way to find the money. Also, from what I understand from my old Union (that I was on the exec for), this Union wont have any spare money sitting around anywhere, cos it’s a charity. This means that a lot of the cuts being talked about will be made before the ban is implemented, cos if it isn’t, and the ban means the Union loses money (which seems likely) then the Union will run out of reserves very quickly, and we wont have a Union anymore. My prediction is some of the stuff on the list, like societies funding, will be cut next term, and the events will be cut after the bans in place if they start losing money.

    I also think that the amount of people going to events wont drop, its just it will put people off coming until later. Students will drink in their kitchen or in the bar (which is right next door and still a smoking place) till later, so the money lost will be at the bar rather then from money on the door

    27 Nov 2005, 21:15

  12. James

    I would like everyone who voted for the ban on smoking in the Union to read the motion document again. Paying particular attention to the Point 4 of 'This Union resolves', and then think about what they have done…

    27 Nov 2005, 23:31

  13. They have done the RIGHT thing, thats what they've done. Look I don't see what your problem is if majority of the people want smoking banned. If a majority did not want it so they should have bloody voted! If you accept democracy you must accept this vote.

    27 Nov 2005, 23:43

  14. James

    My problem is that a vote for this motion was an ACTIVE VOTE to restrict the services that the Students' Union provides. Point 4 of 'This Union resolves' sets out cuts in both commercial and non-commercial aspects of the Union. Is that really what the students of this university want?

    28 Nov 2005, 01:03

  15. Well, the obvious conclusion to that argument would have to be a yes!. I know what you are trying to say, that it would mean an unneccessary cut to all the services, but you also must admit that there were tons of posters and warnings saying just that…..Therefore we must assume that all who voted for the motion also voted for having services cut, I prefer a cut to services than to die of second hand smoke, while others prefer the alternative…...I think its fair to not comment on who is more right than the other.

    28 Nov 2005, 10:15

  16. Firstly, the 'evidence' which links second hand smoke to an early death is dodgy at best, downright flawed at worst. Most of the studies are 'meta-studies'. What this means is a group of researchers went through lots of other studies, picked the ones they wanted to research and used the data from them alone. The studies they picked are likely to be self-selecting, which is bound to affect the result of their research. I believe that other research suggests that living with smokers 24/7 will get you six cigarettes' worth of smoke in one year. Not very much – certainly not enough to increase the likelihood of cancer significantly.

    But let's assume for a moment that SHS is linked to an early death.

    It's true that not everybody wants to have to breath in cigarette smoke, or get it on their clothes. So, why not have smoking and non-smoking areas? The graduate bar and club are both self-contained areas. Make the currently non-smoking area of Rococo's smoking (lots of its clients smoke), and make the smoking area non-smoking. A fair compromise.

    As for comparing smoking to drinking… no, I don't have to deal with the residue of your beer, Mat. But I have to deal with the effect it has on you if you overdo it. I have to deal with broken bottles and smashed bus-stops, I have to avoid getting into fights, I have to walk past a corner stinking of urine or vomit in the morning, if I have an accident on a Friday evening I have to queue in casualty behind scores of piss-heads. Far more seriously, how many lives and families have been wrecked by alcohol? How many teenagers are dissolving their livers in it? Alcohol has caused far, far more human misery than tobacco ever will.

    However, I don't want to ban it because the above shouldn't mean I can't enjoy a drink at the end of the day; similarly, the fact that some people don't want to be near tobacco smoke doesn't mean that people who do shouldn't be allowed to light up in a separate area.

    28 Nov 2005, 10:55

  17. Well said.

    28 Nov 2005, 10:58

  18. Colin

    I resented the scaremongering present in the arguement against. There was a lot of numbers seemingly plucked from thin air or even worse, ifs and maybes presented as fact.
    However, I reckon we'll see another policy come up for referendum suggesting a compromise similar to what Edward suggests before this one gets too dramatic on the old service cutting.

    28 Nov 2005, 12:06

  19. Well, you can make up as many statistics as you like, because there have been more studies showing that second hand smoke does kill. More importantly I don't want to inhale it anyway, it smells rank and it makes my hair and clothes smell horrible too. You still have not explained why I shiuld put up with it even though I have no choice not to if smoking is allowed indoors. If services are reduced – so be it, but nothing is certain, you cannot talk as if its all been done and now we are going to be millions short of cash.

    29 Nov 2005, 00:12

  20. "Well, you can make up as many statistics as you like, because there have been more studies showing that second hand smoke does kill."

    Oh, I'm sure there have. I'm not questioning their quantity, I'm saying their quality is pretty piss-poor (see my comment about meta-studies; see also this page for some information about how easy it is to manipulate statistics).

    "More importantly I don't want to inhale it anyway, it smells rank and it makes my hair and clothes smell horrible too."

    I addressed that – it's called a compromise. Separate areas. See my previous comment.

    I haven't made any argument about service reduction, because I haven't the foggiest idea about how much the Union's takings will drop.

    29 Nov 2005, 08:54

  21. Well the fact is that we can argue about the quality of surveys as long as we like, so on that point I guess we will have to agree to disagree. However Non-Smoking and smoking areas are studip. The non-smoking area of Rococos is shit, its miserably small, people smoke all around (pool tables, the actual rocosos) so you still get smoked on anyway. If there is such a compromise then I want the bigger part of Rococos (where smoking is allowed) to be made non- smoking . The fact is as long as smoking is not banned non-smoking areas will have smoke. its not going to work

    29 Nov 2005, 14:38

  22. Translation: I'm not going to compromise, I want things done my way.

    29 Nov 2005, 18:18

  23. Well you can be as sarcastic as you want mate, but ask all non-smokers what they think of Rococo's non smoking loungs – its a joke, if this union wants to cater to the majority and if the majority want it to be non-smoking then the least they can do is make at least the whole of the upper level non-smoking at all times (even though smoke can travel upwards etc etc…) thts more of a compromise. What I don't understand is that if more people want it to be non-smoking why you are so much against it, its almost that you want smokers around you. You even mentioned you did not smoke, you may have friends who do as do I, but surely if a minority can dictate the way things are, the union is not catering to most of its members.

    29 Nov 2005, 21:20

  24. Jonatan

    There was a motion up. The consequences of the motion were spelled out clearly. The against camp did all they could trying to convince people not to vote for the motion. The motion STILL carried. So unless you are going to argue that the union should not be democratic, its time to wake up and realise that people really don't like being exposed to passive smoking.

    Wheather that is because of health consequences, discomfort or simply personal disgust, I really can't see how you can claim that the discomfort a smoker experiences due to the ban should weigh more heavily than the discomfort felt by those who dislike it. Smoking is NOT a human right, there are other ways to consume nicotine that would not be banned, and you could still smoke outside.

    The financial argument is doesnt hold up as well. People knew cuts would be made if the union lost money. This was spelled out quite clearly. You still got a majority vote in favour. People simply value fresh air that much more than smoke.

    So what is it going to be? Is the union to be democratic, or should students have the right to cause excessive discomfort to others merely because they prefer burning plants and inhaling the smoke as opposed to use a non-smoking nicotine source?

    30 Nov 2005, 19:50

  25. The union should only be democratic to the point where it is not forced into an untennable financial position.
    You can throw the figures about of how many more people voted for the motion than against it, but there were only 3000 votes overall – it's a fraction of the union's actual populace. Sure, yes more people should get up and vote, but I think in this case there was more apathy than there would have been with a differently named motion. "Banning Smoking in the Students' Union" is a title that will get all the anti-smoking people up of thier seats and voting. A lot of people will decide they don't really care, not luck any furthur, and not see the consequences. A motion entitled "Cutting society funding and cancelling Crash, Heat and Vapour" would likely have gone the other way.
    A majority of the union do not want smoking banned at the expense of services. A majority of the people that bothered to vote do.
    I can guarentee you that if the union were to implement this policy to the letter (which they likely won't: link), ie. they cancel Crash, Vapor, and various other events, inform societies that next years budgets will be cut, and start charing £3 to get into Top B – I guarentee that there will be a motion next term "Can we put things back to where they were before please" and it will pass.
    So you don't like smoking, fair enough, i hate it to, I think it's a disgusting habit – but I'm guessing you don't go to any of the less popular events, or are heavily involved in any sports or societies, or don't often use the union's welfare services – so you'd be happy to see them go for your own personal comfort and benefit (please note: you're not going to die from cancer due to passive smoking even if you spend every night in the union over the next few years until the government finally implement the country-wide ban).
    In voting for this motion, knowing that it means 1000s of other people who love the elements of the union we could lose because of it (as opposed to voting from a position of ignorence, as many people did), you have been just as selfish as all those people who smoke at the union every night.
    I would love to see a smoke free union, but having to wash your clothes after a night out is a minute price to pay for everything the union gives us.

    01 Dec 2005, 01:42

  26. PS - I would have greatly supported any motion that offered a decent level of comprimise – ie. heavily expanding the non-smoking areas and increasing thier enforcement. Because then you're providing for smokers so they'll still be happy to go the events. A total ban and they'll never show, hence financial troubles.

    01 Dec 2005, 01:45

  27. I completely agree with Jonatan, if people knew of the consequences (which it was hard not to) then we have no right to go against their wishes. Now the Sabbs are being fuvking useless and saying they are only going to implement the ban in principal – this is authoritarianism not democracy, fuck this shit

    01 Dec 2005, 13:57

  28. The Union is a democratic body as it, by law, has to be. However, if a democratic decision will cause the Union to break some other law then a policy cannot be implmented. This decision is taken by the body legally responsible for all actions of the Union: the Executive Committee of which I am a member. In this case it seems likely that we will be unable to fully implement a policy and whilst I can not speak for the committee we have released a statement explaining our actions to the fullest extent that we can; the circumstances under which we may keep the full reasons for decisions to ourselves are detailed in the Union Consititution. Whilst this process is not as democratic as I would like it is not entirely undemocratic; if you feel our actions are incorrect you are free to either stand in elections for the committee members yourself next year or to attempt to remove us from office. However, I am almost entirely certain that whoever makes up the next Executive Committee, once they are aware of the full facts, will feel that it is best to continue with the same course of action.

    01 Dec 2005, 17:39

  29. Look I don't want to remove anyone from office but I am pissed off, there is a limit!!! How can you and a bunch of others decide what to do when we have already decided that for you. How can you be so sure that smoking ban will reduce income???? You might actually have an argument but if we aren't allowed to see it and all you keep telling us is that you're taking the best decision that is a bit cocky ain't it?
    And I want to know what it is that you are doing, I want there to be delegated smoking areas like at the bloody corner for exampole where the shithole of a non-smoking area is now. We as non-smokers are the majority and we must be who the union caters for, why do smokers have the last word? This is what really annoys me…. Just because they might spend that extra pound more, the entire union is designed to fulfill their needs….

    02 Dec 2005, 03:29

  30. If you wanted to create designated smoking only areas, and make them fewer and more out the way then that should have been the policy put to a referendum – as a decent comprimise it'd been something the union can't weasel out of as being impossible to do.
    Instead the proponents of the motion went way over the top, suggesting a course of action that would be financially unviable, and hence was never going to happen.

    Also, the union isn't there to cater for the majority, it's there to cater for everyone. Soul Nation and Pure are a lot more popular than Crash has ever been, hence we can presume the majority of students prefer RnB over rock and indie. That doesn't mean the union runs RnB nights every day and nothing else. They try to cater for everyone.

    Just out of interest, you mentioned in another post that you don't drink – would you prefer the union implemented a smoking ban and then put £1.50 on every soft drink to bring them in line with the price of alcoholic beverages, in order to make up for the lost money? What union events that you go to, or union societies or sports clubs that you're part of would you be willing to sacrifice in order to see this smoking ban enacted?

    03 Dec 2005, 19:19

  31. Mr. w00t

    haha, check you out with your whiny self-righteousness.

    Seriously, though the second hand smoke thing is a big lie (Roy Castle = Secret Smoker).

    On a more serious note still, Oh noes you broked teh Union!!11

    03 Dec 2005, 19:24

  32. Well, Whats the point in me bringing about any policy – if it passes its not going to be put into effect, so yea as clearly we run a democratic union thts the best way to go about it!
    With regards to drinking – well I just drink plain water when I go out, so you can charge as much as you want for soft drinks…..tap water has to be free! Well, I know what you meant they will raise prices, or will attempt to any way, but yea with regars to clubs and sports socs, I am unsure what the loss will be. for example I am part of the UN soc, and we go to MUN meetings and have some other meetings, we rent rooms from the university for our meetings and pay for our own travel. so because I do not know what I lose I can't comment on how much I am willing to lose. The union has to be more open about our finances.

    06 Dec 2005, 11:31

  33. Oh and – the union may not be there to cater for the majority – but if more people in the union do NOT smoke (I am pretty sure that is true) why do we have only one measly non-smoking area, surely thts not catering proportionately , unless u r saying some are just more equal than others….

    06 Dec 2005, 11:33

  34. Larry Benjamin

    More people in the university don't smoke. but more people who use the union a lot are smokers because they tend to be people more likely to go out at all.

    06 Dec 2005, 12:39

  35. Yes but non-smokers don't go out coz they don't want to be smoked upon….so tht argument is circular in itself

    06 Dec 2005, 13:38

  36. Larry Benjamin

    Wow – you seem to have a serious chip on your shoulder about this. Being somewhere smokey isn't that bad you know, I've never smoked but gone out a great deal since I was younger, it's not particularly pleasant, but not such a big deal that I'd want to stop everyone else from smoking too.

    06 Dec 2005, 13:58

  37. Well actually Larry – yes I am really agitated with smokers. Of course I understand some people want to smoke and they r most welcome to, but I also don't want to be in an area filled with smoke. You may think it is unreasonable that I object to inhaling smoke or smelling (stinking rather) of smoke or in serious need of fresh air because of smoke, but there are obviously people out there who have similar views to what I do.
    I don't care if people smoke, they can do whatever they want, but when I go ot a public place in a close environment then I don't like it and I have every right not to like it just like someone else may enjoy it. However I have no choice, I have to inhale it, smell of it and go out for fresh air every hour or so. Is that really fair?

    06 Dec 2005, 14:13

  38. Larry Benjamin

    "Is that really fair?"

    You make this sound like you're being persecuted or something.

    06 Dec 2005, 14:41

  39. Well here's the deal i don't like smoke and I don't want to inhale it when i go out, and i don't think its fair that I don't have a choice not to…......I don't know what's that got to do with persecution

    07 Dec 2005, 03:22

  40. See that arguement doesn't hold much weight as I hate RnB music and don't want to hear it when I go out so is it fair that I don't have a choice not to?

    The only reasonable arguement against smoking is that of the health risks from passive smoking, which is a massive issue. But with the government poised to implement a nation wide ban soon I can't see anyone getting cancer from passive smoking at the union in the next two years.

    As for the money issue, your society probably received some funding from the union budget this year, I'm sure your society treasurer/president can give you the details if you ask. Most societies who ask for a reasonable amount of money for reasonable activities are granted it – this is something that we'd probably lose were the ban implemented.

    07 Dec 2005, 04:42

  41. Ok you do realize that there is what one might call a BIG difference between RnB music and smokign right? or is that something you completely missed.
    If you don't like Rnb you can go anywhere that does not play RnB, but I don't know of any club that doesn't allow smoking….. The union has ONE RnB night and NO, I repeat NO non-smoking nights.
    So if you went out every other night of the week you would listen to music u lied…...I hope I make myself clear.
    I refuse to accept the argument that the only reasonable argument against smoking is the health one. It certainly is an important one but not the only one. Maybe you have a special nose insensitive to smoke and hair that does not get infused with smoke or clothes that remain smoke free, or maybe you love the smell of smoke in the first place. But there actually are a LOT of peoplle that unlike you actually prefer clean air on a night out.

    08 Dec 2005, 08:18

  42. No I don't, I hate it, I would prefer a smoke free night out. But it's not some god-given right – I'm just being realistic about it, it'd be a major financial blow and completely unecessary given that there'll be a nationwide ban somewhere soon.

    Besides all you have to do is not stand right next to a smoker to avoid inhaling much and wash your clothes and have a shower the following morning, which you'd probably do anyway. It'd be handy if there were more non-smoking areas in the union to make avoiding being near it even easier – I'd have been all for a motion like that. But unfortunatly the anti-smoking group that proposed the motion didn't spend the time to consider a sensible comprimise like this, but instead demanded an outright ban.

    My only suggestion is that if it bothers you or anyone else that much, stop going to the union – if enough of you do it then they'll lose more money than the predicted losses for introducing the ban and probably implement it.
    But you won't, as for you, a smokey union is at most a slight inconvenience and a little annoying, but it won't be the deciding factor in if you go our or not. For smokers, if they were to ban smoking, they wouldn't go out to the union anymore, and they would vote with thier feet.
    At the end of the day, the smokers care more about the union being non-smoking, than people like you do about it allowing smoking – they vote with thier feet and thier wallet, and that's why they'll always win the economic arguement.

    08 Dec 2005, 20:18

  43. Is it a god given right to have a smoking night out?

    Well I don't go to the union anyway (except for Heat), not even during the day. unfortunately your logiv of not standing next to smokers does not work. As I stated before smoking areas do not work becaue smoke travels in the air…..there is a reason the govt wants to introduce the ban because they realize that smoke travels.

    Smokers can go to other places but our union is more convenent a place to go especially if u stay there.

    09 Dec 2005, 04:43

  44. I'm asthmatic and I spent a considerable amount of time in the Union this previous term – it's not so bad, is it? Just because countries are fast banning this sort of thing doesn't mean the Union needs to also?
    Let me make clear, I think regular smoking is a terrible habit that benefits nobody in any way, but I don't think it's reached the level where action is essential…

    On the other hand, the 'against banning' argument is poor – 'cut in events' and a 'financial blow'? I disagree. Build it and people will come, as the Sheikhs of Dubai say.

    09 Dec 2005, 17:26

  45. You are asthmatic and u don't mind smoking = u is crazy

    Yes Ankit spending time in the union is bad…..u gotta admit we always sit in the non smoking section of Rococos which is trop petit when compared to where people can smoke – the WHOLE FUCKIN UNION!.
    Ankit the very fact that people (sensible ones like moi) voted for the ban to be implemented means that we MUST take action.

    and yes I agree with u (finally) the against banning argument is piss poor.
    P.S. – I like the Sheikhs quote.

    10 Dec 2005, 02:29

  46. Mathew Mannion

    Build it and people will come, as the Sheikhs of Dubai say.

    That's Field of Dreams, actually.

    13 Dec 2005, 15:19

  47. U wot? The movie? I didn't know that…I'm just a villageboy. Anyway, they say that too and I imagine they haven't seen it, so ha!

    Re:my sanity, perhaps I was unclear: I do mind smoking, I just didn't think it had reached that level last term! Even the smoking bit didn't seem so bad. Or maybe I'm talking out of my arse…

    In which case, I would like someone to run by me again why smoking and non-smoking areas are bad? (bring back segregation!)

    On another note, I noticed Ed Cooper say "Alcohol has caused far, far more human misery than tobacco ever will"...
    I suggest you visit the webpage below (Journal of the American Medical Association).


    You will notice that in the USA, tobacco is responsible for more deaths than all other major causes (except "poor diet") PUT TOGETHER (i.e. – 435,000 compared to 324,000 all others together). Alcohol – 85,000 deaths.

    I know death doesn't encapsulate the entire "misery", but I think you will agree "walking past a corner stinking of urine" or "queuing behind 'pissheads'" is not quite as bad as a further 350,000 deaths.

    14 Dec 2005, 02:36

  48. hmm….nope u r insane….lol

    Yea Smoking definetely causes more deaths as a direct result of it. Also I dont agree with the alcohol argument being harmful. I mean at the union whenever I see drunk ppl they can barely move let alone attack me….. Yes I know drunk ppl can get into fights, but I have worked in the Union and have seens very very few fights break out amongst students, its mainly cov ppl (sorry but its true)

    14 Dec 2005, 03:19

  49. Mathew Mannion

    The Voice: If you build it, he will come.


    I'm all for the smoking ban, just couldn't resist noticing that quote.

    14 Dec 2005, 10:26

  50. From what I've read on the union website they're not going to fully implement the ban anyway (remind me again why we bothered to vote…?). I have to agree with you that to have to put up with smoke in the union is disgusting. When i get back from a night out and my hair and clothes reek of smoke, you have to wonder what exactly its done to your lungs.

    People say (as Edward did earlier) that "If somebody wants to smoke and blacken their lungs, that's their issue. Nobody's forcing you to do it!" but thats the whole point – they ARE forcing us to breath in their smoke – if they weren't, i'd have no problem with it.

    The practicalities (if thats how you spell it:S) however of implemementing this in the union (as pointed out by quite a lot of people now) are going to mean cuts to the services which are important. The sabbatical officers (or majority of them) were against it anyway and now say they can't afford to fully implement it yet. Plus the fact how are they planning on policing it anyway?? i can't see how they'll stop people even if they do say that its banned.

    The way i see it the union will have a huge task on their hands to manage to ban it and its costs will be great. however as the majority of people who voted have said they don't want smoking then the union should listen and greatly increase non-smoking areas. yes i know smoke travels but if (as i think the vote was only just above 50%) they made half the union non-smoking then it would provide smokers with as much space as non-smokers and the amount of smoke in the non-smoking areas would be less.

    however much we want it, until the government bans smoking, the union most likely won't, so instead of complaining about something that blatently isn't going to change in the near future, start campaigning for more non-smoking zones in the union to help improve things.

    21 Dec 2005, 12:56

  51. THANK YOU!!!!! Finally someone who agrees with me!!!!!

    Yes u r absolutely right and Edward was wrong to claim that it is our choice – because it isnt!!!
    As u say the Sabbs (quite a few smokers) were ALWAYS against it and therefore it is absolutely unfair that they now tell us that it cannot be implemented – absolute bollocks, they r not keeping with the interest of the majority, and I think they have not upheld democracy….....someting needs to be done.

    21 Dec 2005, 17:03

  52. Not wanting to turn this into a bit of "Udayan-bashing", but isn't your argument circular. You claim that you don't go to the Union, ("Well I don't go to the union anyway, … even during the day") then say that you "always sit in the non smoking section of Rococos." Which is it?

    Furthermore, the space in the Union which was non-smoking before Policy 572 came in was pretty damn extensive:
    All Dance Floors (with the exception of the Cooler dance floor when used for seated events, which may be a smoking area at the discretion of the event organiser)
    The space 1 metre from all the bars
    The whole of Union North, including Café Xanana and the link corridor
    South Central
    The Cholo Food seated area
    The Pool/Snooker room on level 2
    The Cooler backstage areas
    The Rococo area on the Piazza side of the Union until 7pm
    All Union South "back of house" areas
    All toilets
    All Union meetings, regardless of venue.

    So that left:
    The Graduate
    The 4 square metres of the Graduate Club that don't make up the dancefloor
    Grumpy Johns
    The 4 square meters of The Cooler that doesn't make up the dancefloor
    The central seating area of Cholo
    The Marketplace Balcony

    I don't consider this to be a particularly large area. The problem I feel is/was that this is not enforced in anywhere near stringent enough terms. In the good old days, people smoking at the bar were told in no uncertain terms that they wouldn't be served until they went away, finished or extinguished their cigarette and returned to the bar. Nowadays people just hide the cigarette below the level of the bar, thinking the barstaff can't see it/the smoke, but get served anyway as they aren't told not to serve people.

    21 Dec 2005, 17:54

  53. And yet for all that space allocated as non-smoking the union is a guaranteed place to come out of smelling of smoke. Even walking through it you get the taint.
    That's what gets to me more than the 'scary' arguments about second hand smoke, although I have been literally disgusted by encountering a physical smog in Rococo before.

    After glancing over this quite lengthy discussion:
    Smokers are being selfish by lighting up around people who don't want smoke near them.
    The poster from Matt hits las nail on the head.
    Un-partitioned areas will never work – case in point is the graduate which works fine by keeping smoke from everywhere else. But is basically a smoke filled box.

    It never ceases to amaze me how many people still smoke these days. Particularly the young and supposedly educated that are here at Warwick.
    (I've just realised I know only a hand full of regular smokers. As far as I know, no-one on my course ever did. I wonder if it's specifically degree related… Interesting to find out.)

    21 Dec 2005, 18:46

  54. Does anyone spend 12 hours a day in the union anyway?
    Passive smoking isn't really a health risk if you're only there for 2–4 hours in a night about twice a week.
    It only starts causing harm with extended exposure, ie at home. A few hours and its like sitting in front of a camp fire. No harm done.

    I think people are just so passionate about being against-smoking, because it gives them a sense of personal satisfaction telling someone not to smoke. Makes you feel slightly better than someone else doesn't it?

    As for smelling of smoke, who doesn't wash their shirt after a night out, especially a night out in our union amongst the monkeys at score. I'd be surprised if a white shirt doesn't come back dyed purple.

    21 Dec 2005, 21:03

  55. Neil

    Didn’t two of the Sabbs have on their manifestoes that they’d extend the non-smoking areas in the Union? Maybe the proposers of the motion should have consulted with them first and come up with a workable compromise. Also, when campaigning was on, we were told only one of the sabbs smoked, which was the president, who as far as I remember didn’t do much campaigning against the smoking ban cos she was campaigning on something else.

    21 Dec 2005, 21:47

  56. To Kunal – I don't think you are right about it not being a risk and even if u may be so, why should I still have to smell of smoke???? There are other concerns to smoking beside health risks…. and if the union is a smkoing one then we non-smokers have NO CHOICE but to smell like tchain smokers. Yes quite few ppl wash clothes after a night out, but we still dont want to smell that way, dont u get it we just dont want to smell of smoke. there is no reason why it should be forced upon us.

    To Daid,mate seriously….
    Who ever goes to the backstage of cooler?? why??/
    When have u EVER seen a nonsmoking event in the union????? it maybe up to the organizers' discretion but seriously who on earth would make an event non-smoking?

    With regards to "So that left:
    The Graduate
    The 4 square metres of the Graduate Club that don't make up the dancefloor
    Grumpy Johns
    The 4 square meters of The Cooler that doesn't make up the dancefloor
    The central seating area of Cholo
    The Marketplace Balcony"

    What are u saying smoke does not travel from the places that are not the dance floor?? seriously, have u not been to union event???And by th way I have ALWAYS seen people smoking on the dance floor!!!

    U r righ it will take a lot of planning to ensure the rules are enforced, but by god we need much BIGGER non-smoking areas (like the WHOLE of cooler maybe) coz smoke TRAVELS!

    22 Dec 2005, 11:45

  57. Why should I have to smell of stale beer when I go into the Union? I have NO CHOICE but to smell of it when I sit on union couches.
    Let's ban beer!

    There are a lot of things that are enforced on us, which we don't choose to be. Get a life and deal with it instead of arguing the same futile point.

    22 Dec 2005, 13:31

  58. Yes, but Kunal, sitting on smelly sofas isn't damaging to your health. Well, as far as I'm aware anyways.

    Thing about it is, there was a motion. And it passed. People were well warned that Crash, Vapour etc would be cut. They voted for the motion anyways.

    3000 may not be a huge percentage of the university population but they are the ones who showed up. So they are the ones who get to make the decision.

    Everyone else will vote with their feet.

    Me, I'll be hotfooting it back into the Union, as if there is a smoking ban it means sitting in Rococo will no longer trigger an asthma attack. Which I'm kind of happy about.

    Either way, I'm with the vast majority of people who didn't vote (I did vote, but that's not the point) in that I'll be voting with my feet.

    Which to Warwick University Ltd is a lot more scary than when I vote by ticking a box.

    [sarcasm] Hurray for true democracy. [/sarcasm]

    22 Dec 2005, 17:53

  59. Matthew Sperrin

    I was in the Union the other day, and overheard a couple of managers and some of the saabs finalising which areas were to be smoking, and which not smoking. I didn't hear exactly, but it sounds like its going to be so complicated no one will understand it anyway.

    As a statistician I have to agree that the evidence for passive smoking causing lung cancer is not conclusive (not sure about other illnesses).

    I don't think this is a huge issue anyway, as the govt is under such pressure to ban smoking in public places I imagine the law will be passed within the next couple of years. I think the Union should wait for this rather than trying to jump ahead, and letting its finances take a hammering.

    Incidentally, how many people have been to Ireland? Where smoking in public places is, of course, banned. I think the majority of people would agree that the pubs/clubs are much more pleasant without the stale smoke hanging around in the air.

    22 Dec 2005, 18:51

  60. I would never go to a jazz club if it didnt have stale smoke hanging around in the air.
    It adds a lovely cosy atmosphere.

    22 Dec 2005, 19:01

  61. I don't want the union to lose any money, but i also find it irritating that when in the busy marketplace at a union event, smokers aren't very aware that their cigarrettes actually touch other people when everyone is dancing around…certainly happened to me a few times and its not pleasant. Some do tend to wave them around.

    Smelling of smoke isn't nice for non-smokers either…but i do agree with Kunal here, that some places like a jazz club are their best when there is a haze of smoke. Atmosphere etc.

    But as far as the union is concerned…i think people will continue to smoke inside. I suppose if there is extreme money losses come the end of which term the motion will start, then smoking might be reintroduced.

    22 Dec 2005, 22:42

  62. Smoking in a busy event like Skool Dayz can't really be controlled, but I do agree its really annoying seeing people dancing around waving cigarettes. They should be thrown out, its just dangerous if not anything else.

    I have been to many places with excellent ventilation – and smoking. I couldn't see a single bit of smoke in the air, it was sucked out so fast. A fan unit every 3 or 4 metres in the union will do the job. If we wanted to we could also install a climate control system – powered cleanly by heat extracted from the ground (a heat pump basically). But that's not very easy to do is it, because now union officials have to get off their fat arses and actually do some work to solve the problem. It's so much easier to get a a majority vote for a complete crackdown from students, who, lets face it, are just slightly more mature teenagers, with the same radical views and tendencies.

    I worked in building services on problems like these, and it won't cost a great deal of money in the long term, at least, not as much money as the union will lose by implementing an outright ban. I agree the initial capital outlay is massive but measures like these pay off in the long term. We have always needed better ventilation – sweat was dropping off the ceiling in Skool Dayz this summer. Why not kill two birds with one stone?

    All it needs is a little bit of thought and smart design and we can achieve a smokeless union. Question is, does the union want to do it?

    22 Dec 2005, 23:22

  63. Udayan, all the areas listed as non-smoking were lifted from old Policy 368, hence Cooler Backstage area – sorry for trying to give a complete list.

    I'm not sure where, you are going with the whole "non-smoking event" thing and "organizers discretion." The old policy was in place irrespective of the event/day/phase of the moon – unless you are talking about events held exclusively in the Pool/Snooker Room or the toilets – but in any case they had no discretion as they were non-smoking areas anywhere.

    Under the old policy, which as a staunch anti-smoker and full member of the Union you no-doubt read, there were widespread areas that were non-smoking, as stated in my last post. However, this was very poorly (in my opinion) implemented in Union South; and hence, yes, people smoked on the dancefloor, by the bars, in the Pool/Snooker Room and so-on. And yes, the smoke did travel around the building. It's what it does, it's what every gas/liquid does. It's physics. That the previous policy was not implemented in its fullness and in a sitasfactory manner doesn't mean that it wasn't a policy that struck a good balance between the wishes of smokers to be able to enjoy food and beverages in the Union building whilst seeking to provide a smoke-free environment for those that want(ed) one. When the Policy came up for review two or three years ago, it was in fact 'beefed-up' to widen the areas that were non-smoking.

    Ireland is a completely separate issue and has no relevence to the situation here and the smoking ban. In Ireland ALL businesses are required, by law, to be smoke-free environments. Yes this means that it is far more pleasant to go to a pub/club and not be assaulted by a wall of smoke (everyone's a winner). However, this means that anybody who wishes to go to an enclosed public space/business and smoke cannot do so. There are no alternatives, so those pubs/clubs that do not (or, moreover, CANNOT BY LAW) permit smoking don't lose trade. This was (I believe) a strong motivating factor to join the campaign against the referendum motion and was one of the arguments used by them.

    Whilst other people's beer may not be hazardous to your health, plenty of other things associated with the Union building and Union events are: carbon dioxide from dry-ice machines is poisonous, cleaning products used in toilets are generally harmful irritants, loud music can cause hearing loss, water spilt on the floor by careless non-drinkers can cause falls, people can pass on STIs through unprotected sex, we even had a case of meningitis on campus for christs sake.

    I'm not saying that a ban smoking in the Union won't make some non-smokers' experiences (mine included) on a night/day out more pleasant, but not at the expense of the services and jobs that the Union provides.

    As an aside, a thought has occured to me and these are infrequent enough that they really ought to be shared. Since Policy 368 has been lapsed, and Policy 626 hasn't been/doesn't need to be implemented before April 19th, does this mean that the whole of the Union is now 'Smoking?'

    23 Dec 2005, 22:52

  64. TC

    OK. I'm gonna chuck in my two cents here.

    I don't smoke. I don't like smoke. I don't like smelling of smoke and I'm not too keen on the potential effects of passive smoking either. HOWEVER, I do not hate smokers as people – many are my friends and in many cases its something they've got into and cannot stop that easily. I know it's your choice whether you smoke, but some people fold to peer pressure or start thinking that they can stop, but then can't. So, if you really want to blame anyone, blame the tobacco companies for inventing such a vile product in the first place.

    In respond to something Alex K said earlier in these comments about Warwick taking a "deserved?" hit for having a rubbish Union, I hope the question mark represents that this isn't his view. Warwick has one of the strongest student unions in the country. It is a union that other student bodies across the country have copied in its structure, as well as its policy. If you think our union's rubbish, then quite frankly, you can fuck off elsewhere.

    The smoking issue is a massive one and I don't have a solution – I'm not entirely sure anyone does. I do agree that the non-smoking provision in the Union is not sufficient or sufficiently enforced at all times – albeit that the problem at evening events is markedly worse (smoking on the dance floor, cigarette burns and so on). I think that things would be better if non-smokers were given the priority (i.e. in Rococo, not having to take drinks across the way to the admittedly tiny non-smoking area near the pool tables). To suddenly try to ban smoking when it's not even government policy yet is a bit much in my opinion though. I recognise that people don't want smoke around them, but there are alternatives to just saying a totalitarian 'no'.

    The new Union building, albeit probably being built when most of us are gone, is likely to incorporate a significant ventilation system that will be able to divert smokey air from smoking areas away from other areas of the union that are non-smoking. This is the kind of thing that airports already have, which seems to work well generally. What you usually find are smoking 'booths' that are partially enclosed so that smoke doesn't spread to non-smoking areas. It does seem to work to me and I think that would be a better option…although I'm aware it doesn't leave us with much in the way of an option in the meantime.

    The Union wouldn't cut events in an attempt to 'punish' the people who voted for the ban to show you all how bad things will get. As Nich Young completely correctly said earlier, these cuts are necessary in order to stabilise the Union financially from the losses that it WOULD incur as a result of a ban. It is my understanding that the cuts would have been to the less 'profitable' events. The fact that you may see these events as the 'best' ones is irrelevant. The best events in the Union's eyes (quite rightly, as a body that has to create revenue to fund student activities and so on), are those which produce the most revenue.

    As far as I'm concerned, the financial risks that the Union would take by banning smoking do not outweigh the desire to do so. If someone manages to produce a sound financial plan that illustrates what could happen as a result in fairly concrete terms, then go ahead. The plan that accompanied the motion in the referenda didn't do that. It was very vague and didn't actually outline any specifics. It merely said 'this might happen', 'we don't know' etc. etc. The fact is, no-one DOES know what would happen. Quoting what has happened at other Unions, I admit, isn't very effective, as each Union is individual. However, it can almost be guaranteed that there would be at least short-term losses, if not longer-term damage. In my view, campaigning for a smoke-free environment in the Union is honourable. It's just not practical at this time.

    24 Dec 2005, 21:46

  65. "People say (as Edward did earlier) that "If somebody wants to smoke and blacken their lungs, that's their issue. Nobody's forcing you to do it!" but thats the whole point – they ARE forcing us to breath in their smoke – if they weren't, i'd have no problem with it."

    Not in any significant quantity, and certainly not enough to make cancer more likely.

    24 Dec 2005, 22:54

  66. As far as I am aware the union is not a jazz club…..We all voted for a non-smoking venue so Kunal u have to deal with it not me

    25 Dec 2005, 06:18

  67. To TC 9whoever that is) nobody is against smokers, I'm sure we all have friends who are smokers….....But some of us are against smoking…..hence the ban on smoking and not smokers.

    25 Dec 2005, 06:20

  68. I think we realise the union isn't a jazz club. Was merely stating that if it did host events such as big jazz nights people might be more inclined to accept smoking for atmospheric purposes. But as it's no such thing as a jazz club, people would rather not come out smelling like they have been trapped under a bonfire.

    27 Dec 2005, 17:01

  69. Again, I'm going to raise the issue of the nation wide ban coming along soon. Did the Union expect that they'd lose as much money then as well? Smokers are unlikely to seek alternative venues as they'll be non-smoking too.
    Was the Union going to seek compensation from loss of revenue or similar?

    28 Dec 2005, 11:21

  70. Laura

    I'm sure the union will still smell of fags for months after anyway.

    29 Dec 2005, 21:44

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