Riley Bill to Ban Smoking & Chewing Tobacco from College Campuses Released by Assembly Panel

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Democrat Celeste Riley sponsored to prohibit smoking at New Jersey’s public and private colleges and universities was released Thursday by an Assembly committee.
The bill (A-1978) amends the New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act to prohibit smoking in any area of any building of, or on the grounds of, or in any facility owned, leased, or controlled by, any public or private institution of higher education in this state. The ban would be effective regardless of whether the area or facility is an indoor public place or is outdoors.
“We know the harmful impact of smoking, especially on young adults who can spend a lifetime being addicted and suffering from an array of adverse health conditions,” said Riley (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “Expanding the smoking ban to campuses is quite simply the right thing to do and common sense from a health policy and fiscal standpoint.”
Riley said provisions of her bill actually go beyond the scope of the New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act to prohibit, in any venue that is specified in this bill, the use of chewing tobacco, or any other tobacco product the use of which does not require smoking.
“Cigarettes aren’t the only danger facing our young adults,” Riley said. “This bill sends a clear message – healthy living habits begin when we’re young.”
According to a recent USA Today article, the Louisiana legislature in June passed a bill requiring its public post-secondary institutions to implement smoke-free policies, becoming the fourth state to enact some form of statewide campus ban.
The bill was released by the Assembly Higher Education Committee chaired by Riley.