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Westchester College To Ban Tobacco In January

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CBS New York (con't)

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VALHALLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Westchester Community College will ban tobacco on its campus starting in January.

WCC spokesman Patrick Hennessy says secondhand smoke is the primary issue. He says “many, many students” have complained about it.

The Journal News says it appears the Valhalla school will be the first college in Westchester County to prohibit tobacco in all forms on campus.

Hennessy acknowledges there might be initial resistance. Students will be given a semester to adjust. After that, violators could face disciplinary action, fines, or limited access to campus.

Two colleges in neighboring Rockland County already have bans in effect.

According to a report from the American Cancer Society, 17 percent of college campuses in the state have adopted smoke-free or tobacco-free policies. Another 23 percent have plans to adopt them.

New York City also has tough smoking policies, and Mayor Bloomberg says they’re effective. The smoking rate for New York City has dropped from 22 percent in 2002 to 14 percent in 2011.

What do you think about the campus banning all tobacco products? Tell us your thoughts in our comments section below.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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