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Many campuses ban smoking

 According to a recent article on the Inside Higher Ed Web site, smoking has, to date, been banned from or restricted heavily in at least 381 educational institutions, according to Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights. However, Valdosta State retains their individual restrictions and is currently remaining a smoking environment.
 “The Georgia Smoke Free Act of 2005 prohibits smoking in all enclosed facilities owned, leased or operated by an agency of the State of Georgia,” Traycee Martin, interim Vice President for Finance and Administration, said in a proposed smoking policy in 2008. “The ‘University Policy on Smoking’ is consistent with these mandates.”
 Smoking is allowed on campus, but not within the facilities, such as residence halls and offices, and or within 50 feet of the entrance to any building, according the Housing and Residence Life and the Event Services Policies and Procedures on the VSU website.
 These restrictions are intended to promote a cleaner and more healthful environment, and to protect nonsmokers, who are still exposed to carcinogens from secondhand smoke, according to the American Cancer Society.
 Some students feel it would be a positive thing for VSU.
 “I would be happy with banning smoking on campus,” Joey Lawson, sophomore military history major, said. “It is harmful to the other people around them and the cigarette butts litter the campus and make it look bad.”
 “I would be perfectly fine with it, since I have allergies,” Katisha Mathis, senior nursing major, said. “I wouldn’t have to worry about smoking and walking behind smokers and breathing in their secondhand smoke, but I know not everyone would be happy with it.”
 According to an information packet for Valdosta State’s Campus Fire Safety Month from September 2008, of the 66 fires on campus, in Greek housing, and close-to-campus housing, reported from 2000 to 2007, 29 were accidental, whether it be by cooking accidents, smoking, burning candles or electrical incidents.
 According to the Campus Fire Watch handout from September 2007, smoking is the leading cause of fatal fires, according to the Center for Disease Control.

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