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College campuses enact smoking bans

The number of colleges banning smoking on campus is growing.

More than 140 campuses are now completely smoke-free, more than triple the number that had banned smoking as recently as March 2007, Frieda Edgette, of the lobbying group Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights told USA Today in an interview.

An additional 30 campuses are smoke-free with a few exceptions, such as designated smoking outdoor areas, and at least 500 campuses have smoke-free policies in residential housing, she told USA Today.

Last month, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) announced a smoking ban at all state-owned universities, after the state passed a ban for most work and public places in June. That made the state's 14 universities, attended by more than 110,000 students, smoke-free, according to a USA Today report.

"The momentum is growing," Edgette told USA Today.

One year after smoking in bars, restaurants and other establishments was banned in Minnesota, some campuses across the state are beginning to look into a complete ban on campus, according to the Minnesota Daily.

Boynton Health Service , in conjunction with the Office of Student Affairs, is distributing a smoking survey to students, faculty and staff during the first week of October, Vice Provost for Student Affairs Jerry Rinehart told the Minnesota Daily.

The survey’s purpose is to get a broad sampling of people’s attitudes toward smoking, Rinehart told the Minnesota Daily.

“We would be reluctant to adopt a policy that no one would support,? he told the Minnesota Daily.

A recent Boynton survey found that 96 percent of University undergraduates don’t use tobacco on a daily basis; 80 percent report they never use tobacco products. This is the lowest rate since tobacco-use data was first collected in 1992. (Minnesota Daily)

“This generation of students is not like any other,? Dave Golden, public health and marketing director at Boynton told the Minnesota Daily. “They’ve really got it figured out.?

Many of the campuses that have gone smoke-free in the past two years have been community and smaller colleges and universities, Edgette told USA Today. The latest campuses include Bergen (County, N.J.) Community College, Montgomery (Md.) College, Fullerton (Calif.) College, the University of North Dakota and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. (USA Today)

Margaret Johnson, a University of Minnesota junior and smoker, told the Minnesota Daily a campus smoking ban would be difficult to implement and control because campus is so large.

“You would probably still see students smoking on campus,? Johnson told the Minnesota Daily. “But I think if smokers had designated smoking areas people would respect that.?