Gov. signs law banning dorm smoking

It's official. Smoking is now off limits in all college dormitories in New York state. Governor David Paterson has signed a law banning smoking in dorms at both private and public colleges and universities.

State lawmakers had previously approved legislation to ban smoking in all college dormitories, including private schools, citing health and fire risks.

The State University trustees banned smoking in state college dorms last summer, and some private universities like Syracuse and Hofstra have done the same. Sponsors say many private colleges offer the option of smoke-free dorms but demand often exceeds supply, and the rate of smoking among college students has increased "sharply" in the past decade.

The bill will also apply to vocational schools, with an exemption for college-owned off-campus housing whose residents are not registered undergraduates.