- Associated Press - Saturday, March 4, 2017

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - Castleton University in Vermont is banning tobacco.

Castleton officials announced the change Thursday. The Vermont State Colleges Board of Trustees voted unanimously last November to ban tobacco from all its campuses by July 1, 2019. Castleton will be the first campus to implement the change.

The University of Vermont and St. Michaels College in Colchester, Vermont banned tobacco in 2015 and 2016 respectively. Nationwide, almost 2,000 colleges and universities have gone tobacco-free. State health officials have been campaigning since 2013 to push tobacco-free policies on all Vermont campuses.

Castleton officials created a working group and are holding a forum in late March to answer questions about the policy. The school hopes to become tobacco free by August 1, 2017.

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