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Oberlin College to go cigarette free in July 2016


OBERLIN — Oberlin College will soon join more than a thousand other colleges across the country in the effort to end cigarette smoking on campus.

In December, after more than four years of talks by Oberlin College faculty members, college officials decided to implement a smoking ban on campus.

There is a policy in place that prohibits people from smoking tobacco within 30 feet of a building, but the college wants to go further.

The ban, scheduled to start in July 2016, will extend to faculty, staff, students and anyone passing through or visiting the campus, according to Ehrai Adams, assistant director of wellness for Oberlin College.

The next step, Adams said, is to iron out specifics.

Earlier this month, the college formed an implementation committee composed of students and staff who will figure out how to enforce the ban and look at how other colleges, including The Ohio State University and Cleveland State University, enforce and inform people about the no smoking policy.

According to Adams, the group is discussing putting up signs around the perimeter of the campus that tell people that they aren’t allowed to smoke on school grounds.

There were multiple factors that contributed to the college’s decision to go smoke-free, Adams said. Along with complaints from members of the college about the smoke on campus, Oberlin College officials have also received complaints from people visiting the college about cigarette butts on the ground and the number of students they see smoking, Adams said.

However the larger reason has to do with the general health of the student body.

“If we can create an environment where this is not normative behavior, we think it supports the good of all,” Adams said.

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or Follow her on Twitter at @Anna_Merriman.

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