After the onslaught of municipal smoking bans at restaurants and bars, student councils across the country are setting their attention on bans at colleges and universities.
Ty Patterson, former vice president of Student Affairs at Ozarks Technical Community College in Springfield, Mo., promoted the school as the first smoke-free campus in 2003 in a previous interview with CNN.
More than 500 universities across the country now have a 100 percent smoke-free campus policy, including 120 schools that were added to the list in the past year alone.
According to a fall 2010 survey of 30,000 students at 39 colleges and universities that was published by the American College Health Association, nearly 15 percent of students reported smoking cigarettes within the last 30 days, although only 4 percent reported smoking cigarettes daily. Regardless, more than 25 percent felt as if the typical student smoked cigarettes daily.
Debate has permeated throughout the UM system in recent years as well.
In December 2008, the Missouri Students Association Senate voted down a bill that encouraged administrators to proscribe smoking on MU grounds.
Last year, the Student Council at the Missouri University of Science & Technology released the results of its annual Student Interest Survey. It showed responders were divided when asked if smoking should be banned on all areas of campus: 46 percent said “yes” and 43 percent said “no.” A total of 1,282 students responded to the survey.
A ban started this summer on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus, after its University General Assembly approved the policy last November.
The injunctions follow a 2001 report published in the Journal of American College Health that says freshmen who don’t smoke regularly are 40 percent more likely to pick up the habit if they live in dorms where smoking is permitted.