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Bill would ban smoking on college campuses

CARSON CITY — Smoking would be banned on every state college and university campus in Nevada under a bill that has been proposed in the Legislature.

Assembly Bill 128, by Assemblyman Paul Aizley, D-Las Vegas., a retired UNLV professor, would cover every square inch of every campus in the state, including outdoor areas.

Aizley said the law is needed because existing efforts to push smokers outside have resulted in smoky congregations at building entrances and on sidewalks. Smoking is prohibited inside college and university buildings.

“It seems like the smokers have taken over the outside,” said Aizley. “It is not possible to walk on campus without inhaling smoke.”

Aizley and several others testified Friday before the Assembly Judiciary Committee, which took no action on the bill.

Representatives of the American Lung Association, the Nevada State Medical Association, the American Heart Association and the Washoe County Health District offered testimony in favor of the bill.

Committee Chairman William Horne, D-Las Vegas, suggested Aizley revise his proposal to leave someplace outside for people to smoke.

“Where in the area would the smokers on campus be able to go to get a cigarette?” Horne asked.

Aizley offered an amendment to ensure the bill wouldn’t conflict with the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act. He also said he would consider revisions to accommodate concerns that there be someplace outdoors on campus where smoking is allowed.

Rhone D’Errico, an anti-tobacco activist at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said designated outdoor smoking areas “don’t work in the long run, there is bleed-over.”

Committee members were skeptical, however, with most of the questions aimed at identifying alternative solutions.

“Just put up a no smoking sign,” said Assemblyman Mark Sherwood, R-Henderson. “What would happen if we did that?”

Contact reporter Benjamin Spillman at bspillman@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3861.

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