Friday, March 8, 2013 at 6:54 PM
A sign at the University of Toledo indicates where students and faculty are allowed to smoke, inside one of several designated smoking areas.
The Ohio Board of Regents voted in July to recommend public colleges and universities ban tobacco on all campus grounds.
The regents can't force schools to ban tobacco--they can only encourage them to do so. So it's up to trustees at individual schools to decide if they want to enact tobacco bans.
Ohio State University is the latest Ohio school to move towards a ban. The school could become a "tobacco-free" campus by 2013, the Ohio State Lantern reports:
In a Friday email announcement to students, faculty and staff, OSU President E. Gordon Gee said the university began exploring the idea Fall Semester after “the idea was raised by many in our university community.”
The Ohio State Board of Trustees is expected to vote formally on the campus tobacco ban next month, the Lantern reports.
Trustees at Kent State University and Ohio University haven't yet taken a stand on enacting campus tobacco bans. Administrators at the University of Cincinnati have backed away from a possible tobacco ban because of a lack of widespread support, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
Some schools already have some form of tobacco ban.
The University of Toledo has banned smoking outdoors on campus except in a handful of designated smoking areas or “butt huts.”
And Miami University has been smoke-free since 2008. When we spoke with campus officials last year about the ban, they said just enacting a ban doesn't stop people from smoking on campus:
Claire Wagner is the University’s communications director. She says students caught smoking on campus more than once can be directed to the ethics board, and supervisors can be informed if their employees are caught puffing away.
But it’s still mostly an honor system.
Wagner says, “enforcement is our challenge. Surely there is very little smoking on campus, but it still does happen.”
Smoking is already prohibited indoors at Ohio colleges and universities.