COLLEGE

Top Universities Allow Students To Buy Cigarettes With Campus Debit Cards

TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY Burak AKINCI - Turkish students light up their cigarettes in Istanbul, 09 January 2008. Parliament in
TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY Burak AKINCI - Turkish students light up their cigarettes in Istanbul, 09 January 2008. Parliament in Turkey has voted to introduce a blanket ban on smoking in enclosed public places. Banning smoking was until recently completely unthinkable in Turkey, where 40% of the adult population - 25 million people - are smokers. Smoking is such a widespread, deep-rooted and cross-cultural habit in this country that even the French and the Italians - no slouches themselves when it comes to lighting up - say of a chain-smoker that he or she 'smokes like a Turk.' AFP PHOTO/MUSTAFA OZER (Photo credit should read HOCINE ZAOURAR/AFP/Getty Images)

A new study shows that just over one-tenth of the U.S. News & World Report's top 100 universities allow students to purchase tobacco using campus debit cards, which are often filled by money from student loans, grants and scholarships or money from parents.

The research from the University of Colorado Cancer Center, published in the British Medical Journal: Tobacco Control, found 11 schools allow campus debit cards to pay for tobacco, and 13 permit them for use to purchase e-cigarettes.

Campus debit cards are typically pre-paid and attached to a student's regular university ID.

Not withstanding the critique of making it easier for students to buy cigarettes, consumer advocates have frequently criticized colleges for using campus debit cards because they often carry higher, unnecessary fees. In return, the universities often collect fees or bonuses for signing up students to these campus debit cards, which carry the school logo, suggesting approval by the college.

The study's authors noted it adds to previous research from Temple University showing that among young smokers, 42 percent who had purchased cigarettes using college debit cards were more likely to be daily smokers.

The authors further criticized universities for allowing students to use these cards at vendors in a preferred network to buy smokes because it sends a message smoking is a "socially acceptable behavior."

A news release about the research did not name which schools allow students to use "campus cash" to buy smokes.

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

PHOTO GALLERY
Colleges With The Friendliest Students
CONVERSATIONS