Smoking could be banned on college campuses

Published 05/05 2013 05:08PM

Updated 05/06 2013 12:44PM

SPRINGFIELD -- Public college campuses could soon be added to the list of places you can't smoke. The idea is gaining popularity with lawmakers, but as WCIA-3's Ashley Michels explains, some students aren't on board.

You already can't do it inside buildings, next to the gas pump or right outside a doorway. Starting next year, you might not be able to smoke anywhere on college campuses either. The idea is to keep air fresh for everyone.

"When you walk through it, it kind of affects us as non-smokers as well because you have second-hand smoke and we don't want to smell that or smell like that."

But, even students who don't light up say a state-wide campus ban goes too far.

"It does bother me because I don't like the smell of it and don't want to be affected by it, but it's not a worry that I need to walk a half-a-mile away."

"I think keeping it out of the buildings is fine enough for right now."

But, this ban takes it one step further. You couldn't smoke on the way to class, outside your dorm or while tailgating at a football game.

"If you're not allowed to smoke on campus, where do you go?"

That's a question a lot of lawmakers had too. The answer, you can smoke in your car since it's technically your property, not the university's, or you can drive somewhere off campus.

"There's a large population of smokers obviously so that will affect college times and you're going to have students that are late now and you're going to, of course, anger a lot of people."

Then, there's the issue of enforcement.

"This is a huge campus. So you have got to have a lot of police watching."

But, most campuses just rely on volunteer enforcement. Some smokers say they're not too worried, because, if there's a will, there's a way.

If it's signed into law, the ban would start in the fall of 2014. University of Illinios campuses in Champaign and Chicago have already opted to go smoke-free starting next year.

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