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College Campuses: The Latest Smoke-Free Zones

There’s the War on Guns, taking away students’ Second Amendment rights on campuses nationwide.

There’s the War on Big Oil, as green students clamor over each other to demand their universities’ endowments divest from fossil fuel businesses.

And another campus battle that is raging, although it’s not as prominent as the other two right now, is the War on Big Tobacco.

A recent report from Glamour Magazine notes:

“Right now, more than 1,000 university campuses across the country have banned smoking from anywhere on college grounds–with more signing on in the next few years. (In fact, some experts expect that college campuses will be entirely tobacco-free in the next 20 years.)

“The first universities started going tobacco-free in 2003; according to the Centers for Disease for Control and Prevention, the prevalence of smoking has gone from 24.4 percent to 18.9 percent in people aged 18-25 just during the 2005-2011 time period. Obviously, you can’t say one is because of the other. Still, according to Ty Patterson, director of the Center of Excellence for Tobacco-Free Campus Policy, the overall goal is to help students have overall better health. And he says there’s less pushback when you clear smoking from the environment, as opposed to students’ own personal lives:

“It’s easier to implement the policy with not trying to tell them to quit. If we decide we want to make our space more respectful of our people and environment, there is less opposition.”

… There are still many against smoke-free campuses, saying that smoking is a legal activity for those over 18 (as most college students are). And as more smoking bans are established all around the countries, people are concerned about the constitutionality of the act.

Gotta love how the anti-Tobacco PR guy admits to manipulating people to get what his group wants.

Meanwhile, we’ve got a new war to announce: the War on Freedom.

OK, Fixers – what’s your stance? Weigh in in the comments section below.

IMAGE: Not Art/Flickr

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