Students and smoking: Stanford University ends tobacco sales

Stanford University is eliminating sales of cigarettes, chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes starting next month.

Sue Ogrocki/AP/FILE
Stanford University has announced that it will end sales of tobacco through vendors serving students around its campus. In this file photo, a sampling of electronic cigarette supplies are seen in a shop in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. E-cigarette inhalers are an odorless, vapor-emitting substitute for tobacco cigarettes.

Stanford University students can breath easier when heading to school because of a new tobacco sales ban on campus.

Stanford University is eliminating sales of cigarettes, chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes starting next month.

The university has nearly 7,000 undergraduate and more than 8,000 graduate students enrolled, according to 2013 registration numbers.

The San Jose Mercury News reports that vendors who operate convenience stores at the Valero gas station and Tresidder Union on campus have agreed to the university's request to phase out all tobacco sales.

Susan Weinstein, assistant vice president for business development, who oversees the vendors, says administrators have been considering the new rules for months.

”The university is an advocate for the health and well-being of its entire community, and tobacco sales are inconsistent with our many programs that support healthy habits and behaviors," Ms. Weinstein told the school’s daily email newsletter, the Stanford Report.

The Mercury News says the move builds on Stanford's "smoke-free environment policy," which prohibits smoking in classrooms, offices, enclosed buildings, and facilities. Smoking is permitted outdoors, except during organized or athletic events, and is limited to areas more than 30 feet from buildings. 

The Stanford School of Medicine has been a smoke-free zone since 2007.

According to recent report published by the American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation, at least 1,182 college campuses around the US have adopted a 100 percent smoke-free policies, nearly double the rate of smoke-free campuses in 2011. Of those 1,182 smoke-free campuses,  811 are completely tobacco-free.

This latest tobacco ban comes as electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, gain popularity in the US. The rise in the use of e-cigarettes has sparked a debate between whether or not e-cigarettes are more of a smoking cessation tool, or an introduction to tobacco use that leads to regular cigarette smoking.

The national drugstore chain CVS announced earlier this month that it would end all tobacco sales at 7,600 retail stores by October 1. The drugstore chain is the first major retailer to announce a tobacco-free policy.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this article.

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