The fight against tobacco in the United States is now being taken to college campuses. Multiple states have announced upcoming bans on campus smoking. Notably, Duke University announced that it would be a “non-smoking” campus by 2020. Certain states are going even further, following Kansas’ lead to ban smoking in all state universities.
Up until now, the University of Kansas only enforced preventative anti-tobacco measures. Smoking was allowed near campus buildings, so long as the smoker in question was 20 or more meters away. From now on, smoking will be banned on college campuses throughout the entire state. Kansas University joins 2,100 other American universities that are now enforcing these draconian measures.
The opposition in Kansas
Those hoping to risk lighting up after class should be careful. In fact, Kansas does not intend to adopt the policy progressively, but rather all at once. The new regulations must be respected by everyone—professors included—at the risk of facing a penalty.
Each university retains the right to choose what kind of penalties smokers will face. Those caught smoking must be reminded of the new law and may face further disciplinary measures, to be defined by each individual university. Nonetheless, in the case of repeat offenders, smokers may be fined anywhere from $100 to $500, as defined by Kansas law.
Since this ban applies to all forms of tobacco, it also affects vaping, which is banned in all universities in Kansas. Students hoping to take a load off after class will now have to find alternatives to smoking traditional cigarettes and vaping.
If it seems like Kansas is being too strict, it is because of the fear of tobacco addiction amongst young people. The state hopes to limit the number of future smokers. The anti-smoking campaign is sure to bear fruit and have immediate results.