Kent State, University of Akron campuses go tobacco-free July 1

Kent State, University of Akron campuses go tobacco-free July 1

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Beginning July 1, the University of Akron and Kent State University campuses will become smoke- and tobacco-free. The ban will include all tobacco products and vaping products.

The policies were introduced last year by each school's board of trustees and will go into effect starting on Saturday. The schools are hoping to create a healthier and cleaner educational environment.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists cigarette smoking as the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the U.S. The agency states it kills more than 480,000 people each year.

The ban applies to everyone on campus, including students, faculty members, visitors, and contractors.

Opinions on the ban are differing between students. Caitlin Villers, a student from UA, said, "Personally, I'm not a fan of smoking, and as someone with allergies and asthma, it's great to hear."

Lataiz Stribling Jr. is a nursing student who doesn't smoke, but he's against the ban. "It's not weed that they're smoking. It's cigarettes, which is legal," Stribling said. "I feel like you're outside (and) you should be able to smoke. We're all grown. We're not children, so if we want to smoke, we want to smoke."

Both the University of Akron and Kent State will be offering assistance to those impacted by the ban that may want to quit using tobacco.

School officials are hoping for voluntary compliance from tobacco users, but repeat violators will face disciplinary action.

Several local community colleges still allow tobacco use on campus, but Cleveland State University implemented a ban in 2013.

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