I work on a college campus that is designated “Tobacco Free”. That means not just smoke free, but free of all tobacco products. It is hard to enforce. My agency provides a variety of addiction and mental health services, and many of our clients smoke. Most are pretty good about not smoking, but a few disregard the rules. It is pretty common to see clients (and some staff) smoking in secluded spots outside the building, or sitting in their vehicles with the windows rolled up, puffing away. As long as I can’t smell it, I don’t have much of an issue.
I have problems with folks who chew, though. I imagine smokeless tobacco is more a problem out here than in urban areas. It is pretty common in the oilfield and in the rodeo community. I usually have a pretty iron stomach, but just knowing that someone chews and has a wad under their lip makes me feel nauseous. The other day I saw a guy in the waiting room with a little cup full of brown spittle that he kept emptying in the water fountain. I knew he was about to leave soon, and the circumstances were such that I didn’t want to make an issue of it. I had to ride the elevator with him to the first floor, and it was hard not to gag.
A local entrepreneur has started a company that sells tobacco-free chew made mainly with caffeine. I am dismayed, since it would be perfectly legal to have in our building. I will not allow myself to be thwarted by a technicality, and anyone who comes to see me will leave their tobacco-free chew in the parking lot.
When have you been vexed by a technicality?