MU Smoking Ban Could Lower Obesity

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COLUMBIA - MU's smoke-free initiative is set to begin July 1, and a new report found it may benefit more health aspects than originally thought.

Charles Menifield, Associate Dean and Professor at the Truman School of Public Affairs at MU, conducted the study which looked into causes of obesity.  Menifield found a connection between obesity and smoking.

"The more people smoke, the more likely they are to be obese," Menifield said.

Menifield conducted the study after living in Mississippi and Memphis, two areas with an obese population. The study found even though southern states spend more money on health, the obesity rate is higher in those states. But determining exactly how much state money is spent on combating obesity versus other health issues is unclear.

The MU campus in Columbia currently allows smoking in designated areas. But will go entirely smoke-free beginning July 1.

Chancellor Brady Deaton hopes the smoke-free policy will assist in continuing to build a "healthy learning community at Mizzou."