Senate Approves Ban On Smoking In Public University Dorms

TRENTON – Students at New Jersey’s public colleges and universities would have to go outside to light up their cigarettes under a bill sponsored by Senator Barbara Buono and passed by the Senate today.

“It is an unfortunate fact that smoking is on the rise among college students – a fact that has an impact on all students living in our dormitories, whether they smoke or not,” said Senator Buono, D-Middlesex. “College students need to realize when you live in a dormitory, smoking doesn’t just impact the health of the smoker. Smoking inside dorm rooms dramatically increases the chance of a serious fire and exposes all students in that dorm to second-hand smoke. Students who choose not to smoke should not have to deal with these risks.”

Bill S-2332 would amend current law to prohibit smoking in any building used as a student dormitory that is owned and operated by a public school or institution of higher education. Many institutions in the state and across the country already have bans in place on smoking in all buildings on campus, including private rooms in residence halls. Several states have enacted legislation similar to what Senator Buono has proposed. The administrations at these schools claim that a prohibition on smoking in residence halls reduces cleaning fees, maintenance fees and the risk of fire.

“I may not be the most popular Senator with college-aged smokers in New Jersey after we pass this bill, but these students need to realize that their decision to smoke impacts their fellow students. It is an individual’s decision whether or not to smoke, but other students shouldn’t have to deal with the harmful consequences of that decision,” added Senator Buono.

Senate Bill 2332 passed the Senate by a vote of 39-0. It now goes to the Assembly for their consideration.

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