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Clearing the air in dorms

Publication Date: 8/21/2005
  • Author:LAURA BRUNO AND JENNA M. MCKNIGHT
  • Publication:Parsippany (NJ) Daily Record
Drew got jump on state's anti-smoking legislation

It was all the evidence state legislators needed to drive home the point.

Just two weeks after a state ban on smoking in college residence halls was introduced, a Drew University student smoking a cigarette sparked a dormitory fire last February.

No one was injured, but Drew rang up thousands of dollars in repairs and 150 students were temporarily displaced. The blaze also prompted school officials to reconsider the institution's policy permitting students to smoke on the third floor of most residence halls.

Drew's policy has changed, and it doesn't favor smokers. Students no longer are allowed to light up in the dorms ­ a policy that soon will be in effect statewide.

Drew's decision to ban smoking in all of its residence halls coincides with state legislation making all college dorms in New Jersey smoke-free. With Drew as his backdrop, acting Gov. Richard Codey will sign the measure into law tomorrow, giving all public and private universities 60 days to comply. . . .