LAS CRUCES >> New Mexico State University is developing a policy to be completely tobacco-free, but officials won't quite meet a deadline set by a state Senate resolution urging all colleges to enact such rules.
The Senate passed a resolution in 2013 requiring all New Mexico colleges and universities to have a tobacco-free policy in place by July 1, 2014 or to explain why they do not.
"We're making progress and we expect to have it completed sometime in the fall," said NMSU associate public health professor Susan Wilson, who has been a central part of the policy's development.
Wilson expects a policy to be in place in September or October, though it would not take effect until Jan. 1, 2015.
At least one council of university administrators must approve the resolution before it heads to President Garrey Carruthers' desk, Wilson said. Carruthers can then decide whether to refer it to the board of regents for consideration.
The most recent draft of a policy would prohibit the use of any tobacco products on all university-owned or leased property across the state. Cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco and electronic cigarettes would all be banned, though tobacco-cessation products would be allowed.
The policy would apply to visitors, students and staff alike.