Purdue should adopt campus smoking ban

It’s time for Purdue’s campus to become entirely smoke-free.

The policy banning smoking within 30 feet of a University building is a positive start, but it’s not always enforced. A campuswide ban would prevent students from inhaling secondhand smoke on a daily basis, and it would potentially encourage students who smoke to quit.

A recent study found the number of college students who smoke is at the lowest it’s ever been. The report, released by the American Lung Association last week, showed that one out of every five college students is a smoker. Though it’s a positive thing that the numbers are decreasing, 20 percent of students still smoke. The president and CEO of the American Lung Association said in a press release that colleges and universities should provide students with an environment free from secondhand smoke, which is exactly what a Purdue ban on smoking would do.

There’s been some discussion among University administrators for a year about the University enacting a policy banning all smoking on campus property. In September 2007, Carol Shelby, senior director of environmental health and public safety, said it was a matter of time before Purdue implemented such a policy.

Now seems like a good time, and it seems like a feasible plan. The American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation reported in July that more than 130 campuses nationwide are 100 percent tobacco-free, including all Ivy Tech Community College campuses, all eight Indiana University campuses and the Purdue University North Central campus.

If these schools are able to implement such policies, Purdue can too. Purdue should follow the trend and ban smoking on all University property.

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