Binghamton University becomes a tobacco-free campus - Binghamton-area News, Weather, Sports

Binghamton University becomes a tobacco-free campus

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VESTAL (WBNG) -- Students, faculty and visitors have to find a new place to smoke tobacco at Binghamton University.

Signs scattered across the Vestal campus read, "Binghamton University is a tobacco free campus," in an effort to bring awareness that the university is now a tobacco-free campus.

The policy went into effect August 1. The policy change is part of the National Tobacco-Free College Campus Initiative.

A tobacco-free campus means all tobacco products are banned from BU property. Some of those products include cigarettes, e-cigarettes and chewing tobacco.

Many students said they were happy the decision was made to become a tobacco-free area.

"I think it's really great for the entire Binghamton community. There was smoking on campus before. I think that just promoting a healthier environment is really great for our student body," said Binghamton University senior, Elizabeth Dower.

However, some students said they didn't mind those who smoked on campus.

"Honestly, it didn't really matter to me because people just did it on the side and I just kind of walk past it," said BU sophomore, Robert Ades.

Other students suggested the school should have designated smoking areas instead of banning tobacco completely. Sophomore William Morias said having these areas would help find a middle ground between smokers and non-smokers.

"If you smoke tobacco you should take into consideration those who don't. For example, I'm a non-smoker so I'd appreciate it if there was at least designated areas," Morias said.

As part of the transition into a tobacco-free campus, the school launched the Healthy Practices Clinic, which offers assistance to those trying to quit smoking. 

12 News asked if students saw a difference now that the policy is in place, some had mixed reactions.

"I still see people smoke all the time," said Ades

The university is asking the campus to hold a shared responsibility in spreading the word about the ban.

According to the American Non-Smokers Rights Foundation, as of July 2017 there are at least 1,900 campuses that are smoke-free and about 1,600 campuses that are tobacco-free across the U.S. More information can be found on their website here.

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