The new law banning tobacco use on campuses passed by Gov. Pat Quinn will go into effect July 1, 2015.
The smoking ban passed by Gov. Quinn applies to both indoor and outdoor spaces on college campuses. Quinn also signed a restriction on the use of e-cigarettes.
“We want all schools to be healthy, clean and productive places of learning for Illinois’ bright young minds.
This new law will improve the health of our students and encourage healthier lifestyles after college graduation,” Quinn said in a prepared release.
Illinois State University freshman, laboratory science major and smoker, Hattie Geisler, thinks the ban on tobacco use on campuses is unfair.
“If I’m 18, I have the right to smoke,” Geisler said as she sat in front of the Watterson designated smoking area.
Geisler said she feels Watterson is her new home and her parents are not here to tell her what to do, so she should be allowed to smoke wherever she wants.
Other college campuses within Illinois are already smoke-free including Aurora University, Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing, College of DuPage, McHenry County College, Olivet Nazarene University, Rush University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Illinois at Chicago and several more.
But not everyone is opposed to the new law. Sophomore Paul Palloch thinks the ban on tobacco is a good thing. He said smoking tobacco is bad for a person in general and also if someone does not want to be around the smoke, then the ban is a good thing.
Sophomore Austin Howard said people should be able to smoke if they want, but he does agree that smokers should not be able to smoke close to buildings or near non-smokers.
“I live here so I have the right and it isn’t illegal (to smoke),” Howard said.
Martyna Bies, junior public relations major, said she is happy about the ban on tobacco use.
“Smoking makes me nauseous and it’s disgusting,” she said.
Exceptions to the law include smoking inside privately owned vehicles traveling through campus.