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Penn State going smoke-free? Here's what a university smoking ban could look like

Written by Matt Eyer/The York Daily Record | Oct 4, 2017 11:58 AM

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FILE PHOTO: A Penn State student walks in the rain past Old Main on the Penn State main campus in State College. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

(University Park) -- Penn State could go smoke-free and tobacco-free as early as January if it follows recommendations made by a university task force. 

Findings by the Penn State Smoke Free/Tobacco Free Task Force, released Oct. 2, go to PSU President Eric Barron for review. A final decision on recommendations - which include banning smoking and tobacco - will be made later this semester, according to the university. 

There are more than 2,000 colleges in the United States that are 100 percent smoke-free, according to American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation.

If approved, Penn State would become the 13th college or university in Pennsylvania to go smoke-free. Already on the list are all HACC campuses, and Lehigh and Widener universities.

According to a news release, the task force made the following recommendations:

  1. Make Penn State smoke-free and tobacco-free. Prohibit smoking and tobacco on all campuses and university-owned or -leased properties, buildings and vehicles. Ban advertising, distributing or sample tobacco products or merchandise on all campuses. 
  2. Create an Office for a Smoke-Free/Tobacco-Free Penn State to oversee implementation of the new policy. 
  3. Implement and communicate a policy in fall 2017 with a soft launch in January 2018. Start enforcement of the ban in fall 2018. 
  4. Help faculty, staff and students who want to stop using tobacco or nictine products with cessation programs and resources. 
  5. Using peer support and encouragement to enforce the policy, and "only when necessary, supervisory oversight."
  6. "Communicating across the entire Penn State Community to build understanding and adherence."
  7. Working with local communities at each campus to keep them informed and involved. 

This story is part of a partnership between WITF and York Daily Record. 

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