Ram in the Rye to peddle smokes

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By Anne Smith

Despite objections from Ryerson administration, the Oakham House managing committee passed a motion to allow cigarette sales in the Ram in the Rye pub.

The proposal was passed last week after it was put forward by Oakham House managing director Dale McNichol in October.  The approval comes with one condition — that a certain percentage of cigarette sales profits be set aside for a smoking cessation program.

While Linda Grayson, Ryerson’s v.p. administration and student affairs, thinks the smoking cessation program “is a laudable effort,” she says she’s disappointed with Oakham’s decision.

“I know that we can’t solve the problems related to smoking but I just don’t feel that the university should be part of the problem,” Grayson said.

But McNichol made the proposal because many customers want to buy cigarettes at the pub.  And while the health problems caused by cigarette smoking concern him, McNichol says he can’t tell students not to smoke.  “All I can do is provide a service that students have asked for.”

RyeSAC’s president David Steele is pleased with Oakham’s decision to sell smokes in the pub.  He doesn’t think selling cigarettes will cause more people to smoke.  He says statistics show that smokers start well before they reach university.

But Steele says he understand there is “an ethical, moral issue” surrounding the university selling cigarettes.

McNichol says he isn’t sure when the pub will start selling cigarettes.  Over the next few weeks, he and the management committee will decide what percentage of profits will go toward the smoking cessation program.

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