Regents expected to recommend campus-wide smoking ban for Ohio colleges


Psychology and pre-denistry major Mohammad Al Khuzamia smokes a cigarette outside of Kent Hall on Saturday. Photo by Coty Giannelli.

Rex Santus

Ohio Board of Regents Chairman James Tuschman will present a resolution recommending all university campuses in Ohio ban smoking, said John Charlton, deputy director of communications for the Board.

“What’ll happen is [Tuschman] will present the resolution at the July [23] meeting,” Charlton said. “But all the board can do … is make a recommendation to the colleges that they think about [implementing a tobacco ban]. Each university’s Board of Trustees will decide to implement it in the end or not.”

Charlton said it is likely the Board of Regents will approve the smoking ban.

“In order for the resolution to be accepted there will probably be a vote taken to say, ‘Yeah, we accept this,’ or ‘We support this resolution,’” Charlton said. “I would say it’s probably a very strong [possibility the resolution will be passed]. Already, Chancellor [Jim] Petro has come out in support of this idea. I would say there is a good chance, but I can’t speak for the Regents.”

Charlton said if the smoking resolution is approved, it does not mean Kent State will be forced to implement a smoking ban.

“It’s up to the individual universities,” Charlton said. “It would definitely depend on the makeup of the Board of Trustees at those individual colleges and universities.”

Eric Mansfield, executive director of media relations for Kent State, said if the Ohio Board of Regents approves the smoking ban, Kent State, as a public university, would be obligated to follow that decision.

Charlton said smoking bans are nothing new on Ohio college campuses.

“Seven Ohio campuses have policies banning the sale of cigarettes and smoking anywhere on campus, and that would include Miami University and Hocking College,” Charlton said. “Of course, there already is a smoking ban in Ohio for public places or workplaces that was implemented a few years ago.”

While Kent State, for the time being, remains a smoker-friendly campus, students are weighing in on the potential smoking ban.

“I think it’s ultimately just a stupid idea,” said Greg Porter, senior visual communication design major. “People would have to leave their dorm or where they were on campus to smoke a cigarette … I think it’s going to be a problem in the residence halls with people hiding [cigarettes]. People are going to find ways to smoke.”

John Jefferys, freshman exploratory major, said he agreed the smoking ban is not a good idea.

“I think a lot of people will either have to quit or leave campus often to smoke,” Jeffreys said. “It’s going to make the time between classes hard for me. I might be late for class because I have to leave campus to smoke and then come back. I think everyone should have the right to do what they want with their own body.”

Kara Daugherty, senior communication studies major, said she believes the smoking ban would have a very positive effect on the university.

“I would be for a smoking ban because it’s a proactive move that Kent would be making and set the pattern to happen at other colleges, ultimately improving the health of students all over the country,” she said.

Contact Rex Santus at [email protected].