Las Vegas Sun

May 22, 2015

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Lawmakers hear testimony on bill to ban smoking on college campuses

Sun Coverage

CARSON CITY – A bill that would ban smoking on all university and community college campuses in Nevada ran into questioning from the Assembly Judiciary Committee today.

The measure, Assembly Bill 128, was sponsored by Assemblyman Paul Aizley, a retired UNLV professor, who told the committee, “I want to walk through a smoke-free campus.”

He was backed by health officials and some faculty members.

Assemblyman William Horne, D-Las Vegas, the chairman of the committee and a non-smoker, said he would “like to see some compromise.” He said most of the students were adults and could make their own decisions on smoking. He said there could be designated smoking areas.

Assemblyman Mark Sherwood, R-Las Vegas, questioned if there was another way the goal could be accomplished.

Aizley’s bill, as amended, would prohibit smoking on any property or campus owned or occupied by the Nevada System of Higher Education. It would be enforced by university police and the penalty would be a misdemeanor.

There were suggestions that smoking be allowed in parking lots or inside vehicles.

Jim Richardson, representing the Nevada Faculty Alliance, said a ban on smoking within 25 feet of a building wasn't being enforced. He told the committee he has had to go through “a cloud of smoke” when entering a building.

Health officials testified there were already 466 smoke-free university campuses in the nation and they cited the dangers of second-hand smoke.

The committee didn't take action.

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