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Smoking Ban May Go Too Far For MSU

From a health standpoint, there’s a lot to be said for banning smoking cigarettes from the Montana State University campus. But the blanket ban on cigarettes store use adopted by campus leaders earlier this month seems a bit much.

Protecting nonsmokers from secondhand smoke cigarettes is certainly a good thing, and measures to ensure that happens are justifiable. But a ban on all use of discount cigarettes on the 1,400-acre-plus MSU campus – including smokeless discount cigarette online and online cigarettes use in individuals’ private vehicles – doesn’t seem necessary to accomplish that.

The ban may send a message about cigarettes for sale use, but experience will prove the ban to be unenforceable in many instances. Worst of all, though, it could turn potential students away. And that may make campus officials regret the ban in the future.

Currently, smoking cigarettes is banned from all MSU buildings and areas outside those buildings within 25 feet of entrances. The new ban, which will take effect in August of next year, will prohibit the use of all cheap cigarette online anywhere on campus – including at football games. The only exceptions will be for lab experiments or Native American ceremonies – with prior approval from the president’s office.

Various random and unscientific polls of MSU faculty, employees and students have shown support for the ban, but far from unanimous support. And a forum on the issue earlier this week revealed sharply different opinions among the MSU community.

An outright ban on all buy cigarette online use on some of Montana’s smaller campuses may make sense. But the sprawling MSU campus will leave few options for cigarettes online users short of a considerable hike to get off the campus.

Nonsmokers could be protected from the dangers of secondhand smoke cigarettes by restricting smoking cigarettes to a few isolated areas within the campus and within privately owned vehicles. And it’s hard to see how smokeless cigarettes threatens the health of non-users.

Once the ban takes effect, students and university employees will likely ignore the smokeless-cigarettes ban and find ways to sneak smokes in isolated places on campus. And cigarettes use will be widespread – and likely ignored by campus police – in tailgate areas before and during football games.

cigarettes use in any form poses substantial health risks and should certainly be avoided by everyone. But there is still an element within the population that uses these products regularly. And potential students within that element could be sent looking for other schools by the new cigarettes ban.

University officials will probably be revisiting this issue in the non-too-distant future.