Nicotine Fix No More: Michigan State University Will Ban Smoking Cigarettes & Other Tobacco Products
Students and the entire campus community at Michigan State University will soon have a hard time fulfilling their nicotine fix. MSU will start banning cigarettes and other tobacco products in the campus vicinity starting on August 15.
The university's ban covers the whole range of tobacco products such as cigarettes, e-cigarettes or vape, hookahs, and chewable tobacco, among others, the Detroit Free Press listed. The campus community will not be allowed to use those tobacco products in MSU's buildings, dormitories, lawns, sidewalks, and even in personal vehicles sitting on the university's parking lots.
Commitment To Better Public Health
Jason Cody, MSU's spokesman, clarified that the university isn't pushing tobacco smokers to quit their habit, but "they'll have to make arrangements," the news outlet added. However, the MSU still stands in its commitment to helping improve public health.
The ban also signifies the university's promotion of the "healthiest environment possible," according to Dr. David Weismantel, MSU's university physician. For MSU, the restrictions serve as a reminder that tobacco products are unhealthy and pose serious health risks to people.
Lorenzo Santavicca, president of MSU's student government, said the university previously allowed students to smoke 25 feet away from buildings. However, the students disregarded this ruling completely, and so the stricter ban is implemented.
Students and people caught smoking on MSU's property will be given a civil infraction ticket from the MSU Police Department. That ticket will cost $150 for a first offense.
Student smokers could also receive a punishment as severe as suspension. Employees who smoke in the campus would be reported to human resources.
Officers from the MSU Police Department, however, will still help students locate the appropriate areas to smoke. MSU Police Public Information Officer Doug Monette said their main goal is to educate the campus community about a healthier environment.
Other Colleges That Banned Tobacco Products
Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island also adopted a campus-wide tobacco-free policy this month, Providence Journal reported. As of April 4, 2016, there are around 1,483 campuses that are 100 percent smoke-free. In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 16.7 percent of smokers in the United States are aged between 18 and 24.
Some campuses in the U.S. that have banned smoking are the University of Michigan, Alabama State University, California State University (both Northridge and Sonoma), Berkeley College, and University of Tampa. For the complete list of smoke-free and tobacco-free colleges and universities in the country, go to Americans for Non-Smokers' Rights.