Plan to ban smoking at N.J. colleges advances

 (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon, file)

(AP Photo/Jacques Brinon, file)

An Assembly committee has advanced legislation that would ban smoking and all tobacco products on college campuses in New Jersey.

Ethan Hasbrouck with the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network said 17 of New Jersey’s 66 colleges already have a tobacco-free or smoke-free policy.

“Smoking bans on college campuses have been shown to decrease the initiation of the smoking use among students,” he said. “It also increases the likelihood of students to quit.”

While she said that she doesn’t advocate smoking, Assemblywoman DiAnne Gove joined the other Republicans on the Higher Education Committee in voting against the bill.

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“It should be the choice of the colleges whether they’re going to have it smoke-free or not,” said Gove, R- Ocean. “Then the students can choose whether to go to that college or not.”

If the bill becomes law, the ban would apply to all college-owned or controlled facilities. E-cigarettes would be included in the ban.

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