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Regents to discuss banning cigarette sales on campuses

— The Kansas Board of Regents may consider whether to ban the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products on university campuses.

The issue has arisen in light of a bill before the Kansas Legislature to prohibit smoking statewide in public, indoor places.

Former state Sen. David Wysong, a proponent of the public smoking ban, asked the board in October to put its political weight behind his bill, which has also been pushed by Gov. Mark Parkinson.

The board said it would consider whether to join the push for a smoking ban, but also raised questions on the status of state university smoking and tobacco sales policies.

All six state universities prohibit smoking in all university buildings, residence halls, student unions, centers and university vehicles, according to a memo from the regents staff.

But there is no regents policy regarding the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products, the memo said.

Kansas University and Kansas State University don’t allow use of their trademarks on tobacco products or to promote them, according to the regents staff memo. KU does allow the sale of cigarettes at the Kansas and Burge Unions, the memo states.

The regents staff recommends that the board direct the State University Council of Presidents to make a recommendation to the board on whether to ban the on-campus sale of tobacco products. The board will discuss the issue during its monthly meeting on Thursday.