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?


US military tried, but failed to rescue journalist…

The U.S. military earlier this year tried to rescue journalist James Foley and other American hostages held in Syria ,but failed to find the captives.


Fate of captured beluga whales in hands of…

A Georgia aquarium went to court on Wednesday seeking federal permission to bring 18 captured beluga whales to the United States from Russia.


After Eric Garner death, religious leaders meet to…

Interfaith leaders convened with city officials to discuss what the community can do to help dial down heightened tensions after Eric Garner's death.


'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.


'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

And then there were six. It was a big night on stage as the Top 6 got to dance with each other, All-star partners and perform a solo routine.


'Doctor Who' personality profile: the 4 Doctors

When the time comes for a new Doctor, there's always some anxiety over the big question: Who will he be? The series owes its longevity…


Billy Crystal to commemorate late actor Robin Williams…

  Comedian Billy Crystal will pay tribute to late actor Robin Williams at television's Primetime Emmy Awards on Aug. 25, the show's organizers said on…

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

GAMES Hudson Common Open Aug. 21, 7 p.m. Hudson Common 356 W. 58 St. Free, The U.S. Open begins on Monday, but most of…


Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.


Jalen Saunders still unsure what caused car accident…

Jets rookie wide receiver Jalen Saunders spoke to the media Wednesday for the first time since his car accident, but he didn't say a whole lot.


2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)


2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)


Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…


Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…


Metabolic syndrome could have a sugar link

Scientists in St. Louis may have found another culprit in metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Uric acid is…


Another way stress hurts your unborn baby

Mothers know to try staying calm during pregnancy, as stress has been linked to behavioral and developmental problems for their babies. But now, a new…