Saturday, February 7, 2009

Smoke-free College Trend Growing - CNN

By Judy Fortin - November 11, 2007

GAINESVILLE, Georgia (CNN) -- When 19-year-old Reid Overton wants to smoke a cigarette on his college campus, he has to walk to a distant parking lot and get into his car, but he doesn't seem to mind. "Even as a smoker, I don't like to walk past a cloud of smoke," he says.

Overton is one of 5,300 students at Gainesville State College, an hour north of Atlanta, Georgia. A 4-year-old ban prohibits anyone from using tobacco products on campus, including students, faculty and visitors.

A smoke-free campus was the brainchild of longtime college president Martha Nesbitt, herself a former smoker. "It's just a healthier place to be," says Nesbitt, "because as you go in a building, you're not going to have to go through smoke. When you walk out, you don't see cigarette butts littered around. It's just a cleaner, healthier campus."

Nesbitt reports there haven't been any problems enforcing the ban. Signs are posted around campus, and the policy is prominently displayed on everything from the school Web site to admissions applications.

The American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation reports nearly 60 college campuses around the United States have smoke-free policies that affect the entire campus.

Other schools have limited restrictions, banning smoking indoors in residential housing and student facilities. Nesbitt believes her college is one of the first to fully prohibit the use of tobacco products. Watch more on efforts to curb smoking on campus »

The American Cancer Society says the movement is catching on. "The trend toward a smoke-free country is going on everywhere," says Daniel Smith, president of the American Cancer Society Action Network. "I think college campuses are simply reflecting the same trend we're seeing in society."

For the rest of the article, click here.

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