University of Nevada Could Soon be Tobacco Free - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

University of Nevada Could Soon Ban Tobacco

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The University of Nevada could be joining the growing number of colleges and universities around the country that are banning tobacco use on campus.

Right now people are allowed to smoke on campus as long as they're at least 25 feet from a building.

This policy change would ban all forms of tobacco from cigarettes to chewing tobacco. E-cigarettes don't have tobacco in them, but they'll also be included.

"I think a lot of people will be upset because when you get out of class and you want to smoke a cigarette or you eat lunch and you want to smoke a cigarette, or whatever, then you have to find somewhere else to go," says senior Alyssa Dipippo.

Senior Cassie Parr adds, "Stopping smoking in any place is good. We've seen it done in California and restaurants and stuff like that. I think smoking pretty much equals cancer."

Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Cigarette smoking causes one in every five deaths -- at more than 440,000 a year.

Officials say a tobacco ban is good for education saying students are at their best when they're healthy.

"It really kind of provides that message and that culture that the campus supports being healthy and we want our students to succeed," says health educator Enid Jennings.

Jennings says there has been a decrease in smoking among young adults. About 15% of UNR students say they've used tobacco in the last 30 days.

And only about 5% use it on a daily basis.

"We see changes in the culture. We've seen a reduction in tobacco rates in the community. So, this contributes that effort."

The university is looking at how this policy has worked in other places. They say it prevents casual smokers from becoming daily smokers -- and reduces tobacco use among the general population.

"When we create this supportive environment. It usually initiates quit attempts and it actually contributes to an overall approach to preventing tobacco in a community."

Dipippo adds, "Even though I smoke, I need to quit and everybody should just quit, anyway."

If the tobacco ban does happen, it will also apply to anyone visiting campus. But they don't know if there will be exceptions for sporting events.

The policy could go into effect by August of 2015.

Written by Paul Nelson

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