NSU Tobacco Ban - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

NSU Tobacco Ban

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NATCHITOCHES, La. (KALB News Channel 5)--In the past couple of weeks some of our local colleges have announced - they're going completely tobacco-free. Northwestern State in Natchitoches was recently added to that list. News Channel Five's Sherman Desselle spoke to students about how they feel about the changes.

Coming soon to NSU...no smoking or use of tobacco products on campus. Most of the students that we spoke with, say that's it's not a bad decision.

"Overall, I think it's going to be a great idea. I liked it. Being a vocal major, it's a good thing to know that my instrument won't be affected by the harmful smoke," Beau Voinche, a junior, said.

It all started in the 2013 Louisiana Legislative session, when Act 211 was approved. The act requires all public post-secondary institutions like Northwestern to be smoke free, with a tobacco-free option. NSU chose a ban on both. Vice President of Student Affairs Marcus Jones tell us that it's mainly about reducing exposure of individuals to secondhand smoke.

"The administration is 100 percent behind this. This is something that we support, because it will make for a healthier NSU," Jones said.

Administration says that they are also prepared for any negative feedback. There has already been a smoke-free policy in place that prohibits smoking within 25 feet of campus buildings and athletic activities.

"There's enough people on campus who obey that rule, and who stay far enough away. It seems like another thing that they want to get rid of, just because," Craig Flynn, a senior, said.

But students like Amber Martin are breathing a sigh of relief. The Natchitoches native has only one lung.

"Ever since I was very young, it was very difficult for me to get into places, or to be around certain areas because of the cigarette smoke. I have absolutely no problem with this," Martin said.

"There's a lot of people out there, who can't do things, or aren't allowed to go places, because of cigarette smoke. I'm sure there's a lot of other people out there who can't be around cigarettes," Martin said.

The new policy will be effective August 1st of this year....again, prohibiting all tobacco use on all Northwestern State campuses.

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