By Susan Simpson Modified: July 2, 2008 at 3:49 pm •  Published: July 1, 2008
STILLWATER — Oklahoma State University today becomes the largest campus in the state to ban tobacco.

OSU President Burns Hargis said the policy aims to make OSU a clean and healthy environment.

"We have enough afflictions that affect the human condition without voluntarily adding to the problem,” he said. "It sets a strong example and a consistent example of our commitment to be a healthy and attractive campus.”

OSU's wellness center offers cessation help and, in some cases, medication and nicotine replacement products, to students and employees.

Student Charles Asbery sought help in October and has managed to stay cigarette-free for eight months. But he's still not happy about it.

Asbery said he felt forced to quit his 10-year habit because walking off campus to smoke would take away from his studies and studio time as an architecture student.

"I still personally believe there's nothing wrong with smoking,” said Asbery, 25. "They forced me to choose between being successful in college and continuing smoking. I'm not a very school-spirited person right now. Video: Watch Burns Hargis talking to campus about the... Blog: Quitting Smoking OSU cessation help American Lung Association Centers for Disease Control: Smoking and Tobacco use Action on Smoking and Health American Heart Association Tobacco Stops With Me

Smoking stats
•A survey of OSU students found that 24 percent smoked and nearly 34 percent used tobacco of some kind.

•A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said youth smoking rates have not declined in five years.

Ninety percent of smokers start before age 21, according to the American Lung Association.

•The adverse health effects from cigarette smoking account for an estimated 438,000 deaths, or nearly one of every five deaths, each year in the United States, according to the CDC.

For help over the phone:

Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline: (800) QUIT-NOW

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