Campus-wide University of Minnesota smoking ban almost a done deal

Next week might be the last finals week where U of M students can light up before that big test.
Next week might be the last finals week where U of M students can light up before that big test.

Last week, the University of Minnesota Senate approved a resolution that would ban smoking campus-wide. The only thing needed for the ban to become policy is the signature of University President Eric Kaler, and he has already signaled his support.

FROM JANUARY: Smoking is slowly becoming illegal in Minnesota

With the state cigarette tax likely set to increase this legislative session, perhaps University of Minnesota smokers should get around to taking an independent study course in cig rolling.

In a statement released following last Thursday's vote, Kaler said that while he was previously reluctant to endorse a campus smoking ban, it's now clear there's more support for the measure than ever before.

"Frankly, it's about time for us on the Twin Cities campus," Kaler said.

Dave Golden, chair of the University Senate's Social Concerns Committee, told the Minnesota Daily the ban is all about getting rid of secondhand smoke.

"We are a campus community that cares about health," Golden said.

But Christopher Sheehy, a University research specialist, told the Daily he's concerned the ban could prompt top professors who like to light up to take their talents elsewhere.

"Tons of professors smoke," Sheehy said. "I think it would give a bad impression of the attitude [toward smoking]."

Well, there's always e-cigarettes, though maybe U of M researchers should take it upon themselves to do what the FDA hasn't and look at how bad they are for you before they're championed as a secondhand-smokeless alternative to old-fashioned cowboy killers.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at [email protected]

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