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Paul Smiths College will ban all tobacco products, including chew and cigarettes, by August 2014.  (Photo: Wikipedia)
Paul Smiths College will ban all tobacco products, including chew and cigarettes, by August 2014. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Tobacco ban at Paul Smiths College sparks debate

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Paul Smiths College in the Adirondacks announced earlier this month that it plans to phase out the use of all tobacco products on its campus and on its affiliated properties.

That will include visitors to the nearby the Paul Smiths VIC, with its ski and hiking trails.

The change will happen over the next two years, with all tobacco products banned by August 2014.

Tobacco is a known carcinogen that kills nearly half a million Americans every year.

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Reported by

Brian Mann
Adirondack Bureau Chief

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Brian Mann sat down to talk about the change with Paul Smiths College president John Mills.

Some of our data indicated we were creating smokers...and that really bothered me.
But the ban has been controversial on campus, where surveys show that as many as a third of students chew tobacco or smoke cigarettes.

"I mean if you want to smoke, I think they should be able to.  They're paying a lot of money to come here," said Paul Smiths student Peter Murphy, a non-smoker who thinks his school has gone too far.

"I don't think it's really that big a deal that the campus has to ban it."

But the move drew praise from Christa VanCour, head of the Adirondack Tobacco Free Network.

In a statement, VanCour said the school "is taking an important step in protecting the health of their campus community."

You'll find a discussion of this story on our news blog, the In Box, at NCPR.org.

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