Thursday November 15th, 2012

Tempe is a city in Arizona situated in the heart of the Phoenix Metro Valley, surrounded by the cities of Mesa, Phoenix, and Scottsdale.

If you’re familiar with the local political scene, you may know that voters in Arizona, along with Tempe residents, recently voted against a 1% tax hike. In the grand scheme of things, 1% may not seem significant, but as economists and accountants can attest, 1% can make a big difference.

This is why students belonging to Students for Liberty protested yesterday, in response to a ban on smoking enacted by the University Senate at Arizona State University. The University Senate has effectively restricted land usage for 1% of Tempe’s land.

To put the issue of smoking bans in perspective, I’ve compiled some data with regards to college campuses, their campus size, and their proposed smoking bans. Below is a table with a few universities who are interested in or already have banned tobacco on their campus.

School Acres Student Pop. Current Policy
Missouri State University



Designated Areas
Arizona State University



Building Distance
The City University of New York system



Building Distance
University of Nevada-Las Vegas



Building Distance
Mesa Community College





As you can see, Missouri State University is currently on schedule to become tobacco-free. Their current policy consists of designated smoking areas, and they hope to be completely tobacco-free by July 2013.

However, one difference with Missouri is how they arrived at the decision. The undergraduate senate voted on the ban. To my knowledge, the undergraduate government at ASU has not been involved with this decision.

Please get in touch with your undergraduate student government, and express your opinion on this crucial policy.

In my sight, this issue is one of the most significant milestones at ASU ever since that Irish kid became Student Body President for the second time.

Please see the attached spreadsheet for more information and links.



Designated Smoking Locations at Mizzou

smoking-locations_univ missouri

Proposed Ban at ASU’s Tempe Campus


FAQS for ASU’s Tobacco Ban

Students for Liberty protest

Student Senate makes the decision

Given $$$ to implement ban but failed



  • The Maricopa County Community College District has made the commitment toward a healthier environment for employees, students and guests. On July 1, 2012, all district colleges and district-owned facilities will become tobacco-free. Although the district has undertaken an expansive educational campaign, including a broad cessation component, we recognize that violations of the regulation will occur.
  • CUNY will become the largest smoke-free public university system in the United States once a broad new policy, approved by the Board of Trustees at the start of the spring semester, goes into full effect over the next year and a half.
  • COLUMBIA – Friday marks the third anniversary of the University of Missouri’s smoking ban prohibiting smoking 20 feet from building entrances, exits, windows and fresh air intake systems. Since then, Mizzou has reverted to a new policy allowing smoking only in designated smoking areas as of July 1 last year. The University of Missouri will be a smoke-free campus on or before July 1, 2013. To begin the transition, as of July 1, 2011, the tobacco use policy allows smoking only at designated outdoor areas inclusive of the entire Columbia campus and all properties owned, operated, leased or controlled by MU.
  • November 2, 2012. Yet, some colleges have had difficulty implementing a total ban. The University of Nevada, Las Vegas, which was given a $450,000 federal grant to develop a tobacco-free campus policy (Tobacco Free UNLV) by the spring 2012, failed to do so, according to The Rebel Yell. Some of the backlash was that the ban was too restrictive and fell to quickly on the heels of a similarly-passed state law. As a result, smoking was banned around four buildings on campus. However, a new group of students, The Student Tobacco Awareness Coalition, has now taken up the cause and has a sole aim of educating students and faculty about the dangers of tobacco use.