University of Nevada Considers Tobacco Ban

RENO, NV - Lighting up at a Nevada Wolf Pack tailgate party may be a thing of the past. The university is considering making the campus smoke-free. The details of the tobacco ban are still being ironed out, but if all goes according to plan it will be implemented next year.

As it is right now, there really aren't many smokers on the University of Nevada Campus. Of its 18,000 students, research shows only 5% are daily smokers.

"It's really good data to support the effort, and we want to keep those numbers low," said Enid Jennings, Health Educator at the University of Nevada.

Jennings wants even fewer people smoking on campus, in fact, none at all.

"The whole goal of a tobacco-free campus is to create a healthy and safe learning environment for our students," said Jennings.

Right now smoking is allowed in most outdoor places on campus. Smokers just have to be 25 feet away from an entrance to a building. The ban would mean smokers need to leave campus before they light up.

"We clearly see the benefits of it but we need to hear the stance of the student population," said Ziad Rashdan, President of Associated Student of the University of Nevada.

Rashdan says in the next month, students will start to hear more about the potential ban. Before the end of the semester the senators will vote.

"Then those senators will make a decision to draft a resolution either in support of the measure or against the measure," said Rashdan

Faculty, staff, graduates and the university president have already shown their support for the ban. All that's needed is support from students.

"Coming from an individual rights level perspective, It's something that just does not need to be regulated outside," said Royal Stewart, a student.

"I think they would be. I mean I think that most people that do smoke don't necessarily like the fact that they smoke so maybe in their minds it might be an advantage for them," said Kate Dowling, a student.

The details will continue to be worked out throughout the next year. At this point it appears E-cigarettes will be included in the ban because the university wants to discourage tobacco use overall. It is unclear at this point if smoking will be allowed at Nevada's tailgates where there is a high non-student population.

If this ban does go into effect, it will likely be in August of 2015.


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