Smoking Ban Proposed on All Rhode Island Campuses - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

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Smoking Ban Proposed on All Rhode Island Campuses

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By ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis 

mcurtis@abc6.com

College students in Rhode Island may be waiting to exhale. That's if a proposed statewide smoking ban on all campuses is adopted.

"It's really important that we send a message to college students tobacco is the number one cause leading, preventable cause of death, disability and disease," said Katrina Holyoak Wood, of Tobacco Free Rhode Island.

Brown University hosted an all–day seminar with representatives from all colleges in the state, and the health department.

Staff from Northeastern University in Boston talked about the smoking ban it instituted last August.

"In the areas where we would normally see students smoking – in front of the library, in front of the classroom buildings – we just don't see it any longer," said Northeastern Professor John Auerbach.

Instead the professor says students tend to move to public streets bordering campus where smoking remains legal.

ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, "This is a growing nationwide trend. Already, 12 hundred colleges or universities have been smoking all across campus."

While some colleges impose a no smoking zone around doors, some students want the campus-wide ban.

"I don't think that they should be able to smoke. I believe if they want to do that, they should go somewhere else to do it, but keep it off the campus," said Alison Pencz, a non-smoker at Johnson & Wales University.

Smokers disagree.

"I don't think it should be banned on campuses,” said Martin Webb, a smoker who attends Johnson & Wales.

“I don't like it because I know a lot of people, who do smoke, and they wouldn't be very happy and neither would I. Because I want to be able to smoke, you know," said Johnson & Wales student and smoker Jackie Thomas.

Rhode Island will have to decide on a case–by–case basis, since some colleges are public and some are private.
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