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The Observer

Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

The Observer

Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

The Observer

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Cleveland State goes smoke free, sparking talks for no smoking at CWRU

In an effort to promote healthy lifestyles, Cleveland State University is aiming to be tobacco-free by the start of the next school year.

Earlier this month, CSU’s board of trustees approved a policy that bans the use of tobacco on campus.

According to the policy, the use and distribution of tobacco is prohibited in “any facility or property that is owned, leased, used, or occupied by the university,” which also includes parking lots and walkways.

Exceptions to the new rule will be permitted for research, clinical, educational, or religious purposes with prior approval.

CSU is the first public university to follow the Ohio Board of Regents’ recommendation that all tobacco products be prohibited on public campuses.

Case Western Reserve University has not yet issued a response to CSU’s policy change. Currently, the university’s policy does not allow smoking in any of its buildings and structures, including in its residence halls and in university-owned vehicles.

Outdoor walkways and university property are also tobacco-free except for 15 designated smoking areas across campus. Still, there have been some issues with smoking in the past. Many students have complained about smoking violations across campus.

“There are always cases of people smoking in their rooms, bothering their neighbors,” said RHA vice president of public relations Michael Knobloch.

“Last year, there was a lot of trouble in Clarke Tower with smoking inside the residence hall,” he continued.

Undergraduate student councils have also addressed the issue of tobacco use on campus recently. Last year, the Undergraduate Student Government Student Life Committee administered an extensive survey to better understand concerns related to smoking on campus, as well as general student opinions on the matter.

59 percent of students surveyed believe that CWRU should become a smoke-free campus. However, there still remains a large minority that believes the opposite, most of whom expressed concern with the current smoking policy.

The committee concluded that making the campus smoke-free is an idea that the university should continue to investigate, but should not be immediately acted upon. Students have also taken up the issue of smoking on campus in the past.

“Over the past few years, Adelbert Road has been the battleground for smokers and anti-smoking activists alike,” said USG president James Hale.

“A number of students even gathered together in the spring last year to chalk and hand out informational flyers in front of Rainbow Babies in protest of smoking near the hospital.”

As of now, the university has not made any new rules involving tobacco use on campus. Given CSU’s recent statement, however, CWRU might be the next university in Ohio to have a smoke-free campus.

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