U of M poised to make Twin Cities campus smoke-free

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University of Minnesota students, staff and officials at the Twin Cities campus have been debating a campus-wide smoking ban – indoors and out – for years. Now the U of M is finally preparing to make the ban a reality at the sprawling urban campus, the Star Tribune reports.

The move would put the U of M in line with a nationwide trend, the newspaper reports. More than 1,100 U.S. campuses already prohibit smoking, including dozens in Minnesota. That's up from just 30 or so in 2006.

The University Senate, which includes students, staff and faculty, voted last week to approve the smoking ban. U of M President Eric Kaler said he would enact the ban, the Star Tribune reports. The new rule could begin in fall 2014.

Campus smoking bans are "destined to be universal," Clifford Douglas, director of the Tobacco Research Network at the University of Michigan, told USA Today.

In most cases, campus smoking bans are designed to protect people from harmful second-hand smoke, as well as perhaps curb student smoking. Do the bans work? The Washington Post examined that question last fall.

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