How Students Feel About the Smoke-Free Campus Act
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Governor Pat Quinn passed a new Illinois state legislation, the Smoke-Free Campus Act, that prohibits smoking on all state-sponsored, higher education institutions, according to an NIU article. Kishwaukee College will be smoke-free as of July 1, 2015.
This legislation states that no smoking will
be allowed on campuses, with the only exception being that people will be able to smoke instead their cars with the windows rolled up. According to Illinois.gov, Governor Quinn said, “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.”
About 15.2 % of adults in Illinois are current smokers according to the 2011 Adult Tobacco Survey. As of July 1st, at Kishwaukee College and many other state funded institutions in Illinois, nonsmoker students will no longer have to worry about smokers ignoring the fifteen feet rule, but on the other hand, is it fair that smokers should have to smoke inside their cars? Is this legislation even a big concern considering there are other issues, for police officers especially, to worry about on campus?
Students and staff here at Kish feel a mix of different emotions about the new legislation.
Second year student and Kaleidoscope Staff Writer Guadalupe Rangel commented that as a non-smoker you don’t necessarily “want to smell [smoke] when you go outside,” and she added that she believes there is “a time and place to smoke,” and school isn’t that place.
Student April Steichen agreed with Rangel and said that she is “glad they’re finally enforcing” some kind of nonsmoking law; although, she “questions if it will work.”
Other members of Kishwaukee College felt differently. Phil Matushek, who works in IT and is a smoker, made the joke, “It won’t be fun to walk to my car,” and Mario Jefferys, who is also a smoker, commented that “students pay to attend” Kish and now some might be put “out of [their] comfort zone[s]” and like they are less of a part of campus by having to go to their cars to smoke.
Former smoker and current student, Doug Anderson, looked beyond the local legislation and questioned the Constitutionality of the Smoke-Free Act. Anderson commented that he was in the service “four years for freedoms the country was founded on.” He added that in support of peoples’ freedom, there should be “designated smoking areas” instead of going to such extremes.
Even nonsmokers disagreed with the legislation. Faculty member Ben Nicholson said that he was “disappointed that [people] can’t [smoke] in a safe distance” from the building.
Then there were other people, like Kish student Marcus Rawles who said that they didn’t “care either way”
So how do you feel? Is this law a perfectly good way to encourage a healthier lifestyle and make our campus doorways especially easier to breathe in? Or is this new legislation insensitive to addictions that are tough to quit?