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Public college students can still light up on campus after Gov. Brown vetoes smoking ban bill

Public college students can still light up on campus after Gov. Brown vetoes smoking ban bill

Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday vetoed a smoking ban at California college campuses. (Dai Sugano / San Jose Mercury News)

Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday vetoed a smoking ban at California college campuses. (Dai Sugano / San Jose Mercury News)

Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday vetoed a bill that would have banned smoking and use of electronic cigarettes on state university and community college campuses, saying the measure was not necessary.

“The governing boards of our public colleges and universities already have the authority and are fully capable of setting smoking policies on their campuses,” Brown wrote in a veto message on AB 1594.

The bill by Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) would have banned smoking and vaping on California State University and California Community Colleges system campuses beginning in 2018.

The University of California system has had a policy in place for years. About 18 of the 72 community college districts, with 37 campuses, already have smoke-free policies, as does Cal State Fullerton. The Cal State system is in the process of adopting a systemwide smoke-free policy and hopes to have it in place soon.

McCarty said his bill was introduced to “ease the problem of second-hand smoke for the non-smoking community at all public higher education institutions.”

Brown’s veto came just months after he signed bills raising the smoking age from 18 to 21, banning the use of electronic-cigarettes in public places where smoking is prohibited and eliminating exceptions allowing people to light up in certain areas at public school facilities.

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