- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 21, 2020

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The University at Albany is joining a number of college campuses across the country in becoming tobacco free Wednesday.

The university announced it will begin prohibiting the use of any smoking and vaping products on campus starting Wednesday.

University President Havidán Rodríguez signed the policy in November 2018, with plans to implement it in January 2019 but it was postponed.

The school announced designated campus smoking areas in March until the policy goes into effect on Wednesday. The policy states that students will not be allowed to use any kind of tobacco product on campus property, including dorms, classrooms and outdoor common areas.

The use of tobacco products in students’ personal vehicles on campus property will also be prohibited.

The public university will be joining more than 1,800 tobacco- and smoke-free campuses in the U.S.

The policy goes into effect amid the state’s ongoing effort to ban flavored e-cigarettes following warnings from health officials that vaping may cause illnesses and even become fatal in young people.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo had said he would move to expand New York’s ban on flavored nicotine e-cigarette products to include menthol.

New York City Council separately passed its own bill in November banning flavored vaping products including menthol. The bill has the support of Democratic Bill de Blasio and is expected to take effect in July 2020, barring legal challenges.

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