Julie Carr Smyth

COLUMBUS: Tobacco use bans are sweeping campuses nationwide.

California’s state system will bar tobacco use by next August. A ban on tobacco use and advertising at the City University of New York system goes into effect in September, and the University of Missouri at Columbia is going smoke-free in 2014.

Ohio higher education officials also plan a vote next month urging all public campuses to ban tobacco use.

Advocates want to minimize pressure to smoke on a critical demographic. The U.S. surgeon general says that most smokers start by age 26 and that tobacco advertising is aimed at the college demographic.

Defenders of smoking rights say that it is legal right and that by the time students get to college they should be free to make their own decisions.