Smoking rules create a haze of confusion

Smoking rulesKris Jackson, a sophomore anthropology major at West Chester University, understands the reasoning behind the new smoking ban at his school. It’s the scope that he thinks too drastic.

“Asking people to smoke in designated areas is not that much to ask,” said Jackson, 19, as he puffed on a cigarette yesterday. “Asking people to stop is a lot to ask.”

A sweeping ban on smoking instituted last week at West Chester and all other state-owned universities has produced more confusion than clarity so far.

The ban goes further than the new Pennsylvania Clean Indoor Air Act, which prohibits smoking inside most public buildings and workplaces.

Pennsylvania first to ban smoking at all state universities

Pennsylvania smoking ban With virtually no warning, smoking at 14 of Pennsylvania’s state-owned universities has been banned anywhere on campus — even outdoors.

The action has sparked protests around the state by some of the 110,000 students in the State System of Higher Education, who received word of the ban by e-mail late Wednesday — a day before a new state law forbidding smoking in most workplaces and public spaces took effect.

After discussions with university presidents and system board members, Chancellor John Cavanaugh said he interprets the law to extend beyond buildings at educational facilities to include all campus grounds, such as courtyards, parking lots and athletic fields.