A number of state universities have enacted bans on smoking this year, according to USA Today. These include the University of Oklahoma, the University of Oregon and Montana State University. By 2014, all of the University of California campuses will ban the use or sale of cigarettes and chewing tobacco.
Howard Koh, Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will visit the University of Michigan on Wednesday to announce a government-backed campaign to encourage campuses nationwide to go tobacco free.
According to Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, 774 college campuses in the United States had banned smoking as of July 1, including 562 that had banned tobacco use altogether. Most college campuses banned smoking indoors in the 1970s, leading to smokers gathering at building entrances.
At Montana State University, there was fierce opposition to the smoking ban, according to Jenny Haubenreiser, Director of Health Promotion, and President of the American College Health Association. She explained that in Montana, spit tobacco is part of the culture. She added that parents overwhelmingly support the ban.
This summer, the Ohio Board of Regents recommended a total ban on tobacco products at the state’s public colleges. In June, the University of Maryland announced all 12 of its institutions will become smoke free by July 2013. At schools in the City University of New York system, the use and advertising of tobacco will not be allowed beginning in September.