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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

California university system plans tobacco ban

The University of California system announced last week that it will completely ban tobacco products, including cigarettes and chewing tobacco, on all 10 of its campuses.

More than 500 colleges and universities around the country ban smoking in some fashion. But the degree of these bans vary, and few have gone as far as the University of California system.

Marquette’s smoking policy states that people on university property cannot smoke indoors or within 25 feet of university buildings. There are no listed consequences for violating the rule.

University of California President Mark Yudof sent out a letter to campus chancellors last week, making the news public.

“As a national leader in healthcare and environmental practices, the University of California is ready to demonstrate leadership in reducing tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke,” Yudof wrote. “Offering a smoke-free environment will contribute positively to health and well-being of all U.C. students, faculty, stuff, and our patients and visitors.”

The ban will apply to every person who sets foot on a University of California campus. The penalties for violators of the ban are unknown, but it is certain that the ban will also prohibit tobacco sales and advertisements throughout the system.

Becky Michelsen, an advisor for Spark, a student group that encourages healthier lives and advocates for policy change on tobacco issues, said she thinks a smoke-free or a tobacco-free campus policy is a possibility at Marquette.

Michelsen said one of Spark’s goals for the year is to draft a proposal to encourage Marquette to be tobacco-free.

“In order for the university to take this action I believe that there would need to be a lot of student support,” Michelsen said. “It would take some research to determine what type of policy would be best for Marquette.”

Michelsen said Marquette’s urban campus could pose challenges for a smoke-free policy.

According to Marquette’s Center for Health Education and Promotion, 26.4 percent of Marquette students used tobacco within the last 30 days. Nationally, 35.2 percent of college students used tobacco in the last 30 days.

Alex Emig, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, said she would appreciate a smoking ban on Marquette’s campus.

“It would be nice to not have to smell the smoke on campus,” Emig said.

Nathan Bilodeau, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration, smokes on occasion and said he would be opposed to a campus-wide tobacco ban.

“(A smoking ban) would be hard to enforce at Marquette with all of the (non-Marquette students) on campus,” he said.

Bilodeau said banning the sale of tobacco products would be the most annoying part of the ban.

Nick Lollino, a freshman in the College of Engineering, smokes on occasion and said he would not like a ban on the selling of tobacco products.

Lollino said he feels the current rule of smokers staying at least 25 feet from buildings works well.

“(The current rule) keeps the smoke away from people who don’t want to be around it,” Lollino said.

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