The Harvard Crimson today has an editorial opposing an effort by "Harvard's own Institute of Politics Tobacco Control Policy Group" to ban smoking in Harvard Yard. I clicked through expecting some robust libertarianism, but what I got instead was some wan utilitarianism mixed with egalitarianism: "As we all know, Cambridge is not the safest off-campus environment, and enforcing a ban on smoking will inevitably place students' safety in jeopardy by driving them toward potentially dangerous locales and privileging students who have access to off-campus locations where smoking is permitted."
Maybe the college could ban smoking in the Yard but give the smokers guns with which to defend themselves on the perilous public sidewalks of Harvard Square?
Archeological digs in Harvard Yard have uncovered lots and lots of 17th-Century pipe stems, notwithstanding the 1655 Harvard College Rules stating: "Neither Shall hee without sufficient reason such as the President or his Tutor shall approve of, eyther take Tobacco or bring or permit to be brought into his Chamber strong Beere, wine, or strong water, or any other inebriating Drinke to the end that all excesse and abuse thereof may bee prevented." So whatever else one makes of this controversy, there's no doubt it's been a long-running one.