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Idaho State University latest campus to adopt smoking ban

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Associated Press
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POCATELLO, Idaho -- Officials at Idaho State University decided this week to ban smoking on the Pocatello campus, following a recommendation from student leaders, who passed a resolution nearly a year ago supporting the move to a smoke-free institution.
The ban will take effect in September, the university said Wednesday, and with it, two of Idaho's three public universities will have made their campuses smoke-free zones. Boise State University was first, adopting its policy in 2009.
The University of Idaho in Moscow has policies placing restrictions on smokers but is not a smoke-free campus. Elsewhere in the state, the College of Southern Idaho, in Twin Falls, and North Idaho College, in Coeur d'Alene, have adopted bans, the Idaho State Journal reported.
At Idaho State University, the previous policy required smokers to be at least 20 feet from buildings. School administrators sought feedback in 2010 on their smoking policy and wondered if they should leave it unchanged, ban smoking or designate a few areas where smoking is allowed.
The new smoking ban will not extend to the university's satellite campus in Idaho Falls because that campus is shared with the University of Idaho, Dean Lyle Castle said. He told the Post Register (http://bit.ly/eAxTBM ) that a smoke-free policy is possible at the branch, but it would have to be a joint effort by both universities.
The Associated Students of ISU voted last September to support making the main campus in Pocatello smoke-free.
There was some discussion of a modified smoke-free campus policy, former student body president Shaun Stokes said.
"In the end we felt that allowing smoking anywhere on campus defeated the purpose of having clean air environments. And building external structures for smoking limited to certain areas of the campus seemed a poor choice of resources," Stokes said in a university statement announcing the change.
Idaho State President Arthur Vailas said the new policy is consistent with the school's focus. "As the higher education institution in Idaho that offers the largest number of programs in the health professions, this new policy is consistent with our focus on health and wellness," Vailas said in a statement.
A survey found that nearly 9 percent of the campus community smokes daily and to help people adjust to the change, school officials are offering smoking cessation workshops.
Story tags » CollegesHealth

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