College campuses stomp out smoking

Are campus-wide smoking bans a great way to curb tobacco use or a violation of rights?

College campuses are notoriously safe zones for freedom of expression, but one of those expressions is becoming increasingly prohibited: smoking.

Public smoking bans have been trickling across the country for years now, including one initiated in NYC this past May. However, colleges have been making plans for smoke-free campuses for years and especially now, as the smoking rate is 30 percent among college students, according to the American Nonsmokers Rights Foundation.

The ANR reports 530 college campuses are now 100 percent smoke-free. Many more schools, like the University of Oklahoma’s Norman campus, will be initiating a campus-wide smoking ban this coming year.

“It is time for us to take this action,” said OU President David Boren during his State of the University address this week.

That sentiment is rapidly spreading among the higher education community, as students have been a prime target for the tobacco industry for years.

“One need only look at promotions held in bars across campuses all over the country to realize that 18-24 year olds are important to the tobacco industry,” according to the ANR.

But is a campus-wide smoking ban fair to student smokers? John Nothdurft, director of government relations for the Heartland Institute, said those bans could become a legal dilemma.

“Historically, there have been designated areas for smokers,” said Nothdurft. “Now colleges are trying to even get rid of those and that could be a First Amendment issue.”

He also said forcing students to leave campus in order to light up could become a safety problem for schools that are located in dangerous areas. However, Nothdurft says that, similar to alcohol bans, smoking bans cannot truly be enforced on campuses. He views the bans as a marketing technique by schools to convince parents that students will be safer and healthier on campus.

“It’s not really that colleges truly believe they are going to enforce it with an iron fist,” he said. “What they are trying to do is say, ‘We are smoke-free’ so they can kind of put in on their mailings to parents to let them know they will take care of their kid. It’s more of a selling point.”

What do you think? Has your campus gone smoke-free? Do you want it to be?


East Village woman fights off rape attempt from…

An East Village woman fought off an attempted rapist that she woke to find standing on her bed over the weekend, police said.


Nearly 300 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years.


Police look for man suspected of threatening Muslim…

Police seek man suspected of calling a teen Muslim girl a "terrorist" and spitting on her multiple times while on a Queens bus.


Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…


Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…


'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Accomplice Tour: New York (Spoiler Alert)

When I signed up for the Accomplice show tour, I had no idea what I was in for. But every grimy job comes with a great reward.


TV watch list, Tuesday, April 15: 'New Girl,'…

'New Girl' Nick and Jess are hiding their breakup from the other loft residents. And Winston passes the police academy exam! That guy needed some…


Nets miss chance to clinch No. 5 seed…

Nets head coach Jason Kidd expressed little concern after a 109-98 loss to the Knicks, but others seemed to disagree.


Jets confident despite Chris Johnson leaving with no…

Jets fans clamored for a playmaker on offense all offseason. It looked like they were going to land that player on Tuesday when Chris Johnson…


Knicks, Nets rivalry never materialized despite national attention

When the NBA schedule was released, the league anticipated an intense rivalry between the Nets and Knicks with all four games slated for national TV.


NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?


Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…


How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…


Personalize your massage at a private practice

CityTouch customizes spa treatments to meet client's needs.


Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.