Lantern file photo
Ohio public colleges are no place for tobacco.
That’s what the Ohio Board of Regents decided unanimously in a Monday meeting after a resolution against tobacco use in public universities was presented by Chairman James Tuschman.
The resolution urges the ban of tobacco products anywhere on campuses, indoors and outside.
“It’s the right thing to do,” Tuschman said in a Monday press release. “Statistics prove that a tobacco-free campus significantly curbs the smoking habits of students, faculty and staff to make campuses healthier environments.”
The Board of Regents holds no authority over the ruling guidelines of individual colleges, but they are recommending that the board of trustees at each institution adopt a tobacco-free campus policy.
The Ohio State Board of Trustees does not meet again until August 30.
The current university policy bans smoking indoors and prohibits smoking outdoors within 25 feet of any building entrance or window. The policy is similar to the statewide Ohio regulation passed in 2006, which banned smoking in all enclosed workplaces, including bars and restaurants. There are currently no regulations regarding the use of smokeless tobacco on campus.
President E. Gordon Gee told The Lantern in April 2010 that he would like to see a smoke-free OSU.
“A smoke-free campus is not at the top of my priority list, but if someone came to me with a proposal and we could make that happen quickly, I would be the first in line,” Gee said.
Miami University is the only public university in Ohio that has a smoke-free policy currently in place.
According to a July 1 ANRF release, there are 774 smoke-free campuses in the nation, and 562 of those are tobacco-free campuses with an additional ban on smokeless-tobacco.
The prevalence of college-age smokers was a contributing factor to the Board’s decision. According to the Ohio Department of Health, the release stated that almost 40 percent of college-aged smokers either began smoking or become a regular smoker after starting college.