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Question of the day

Monday, Aug 18, 2014

* Oh, heck. I forgot to post a question. Let’s do this one: AP

Smoking will be banned indoors and out on all Illinois public college and university campuses starting next summer under legislation signed yesterday by Gov. Pat Quinn.

Quinn said the measure, which takes effect July 1, 2015, applies to all state-supported schools and will protect students’ health and help nonsmokers avoid unwanted smoke “on the campuses they call home.”

Smoking still will be permitted inside privately owned vehicles and during some activities protected by the federal American Indian Religious Freedom Act.

Health officials praised the law, saying it could help reduce smoking rates.

* The Question: Do you agree or disagree with this smoking ban? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.

survey service

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Nearly Normal - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 3:40 pm:

    The ban is everywhere else so why not on campus? Young people are smoking more now than they were a few years ago. Bad habits can become life threatening. I watched my father die of emphysema and COPD due to a lifelong smoking habit he could not break.

  2. - Claude - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 3:40 pm:

    Smoking has been banned at other state agencies for years. It never made sense why universities were exempted from the ban.

  3. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 3:41 pm:

    Voted agreed.


    Restaurants and other facilities that banned smoking made the experience better. That is just a few hours at a time, imagine living down the hall from a smoker for the first time in your life, of having a random roommate who smokes everywhere and you don’t.

    It’s selfish of me to have this thought, but unless 2nd hand smoke becomes a non-cancer risk, I am willing to be a bit selfish.

  4. - 47th Ward - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 3:44 pm:

    I don’t smoke anymore, but this is ridiculous. Having designated areas outside isn’t too much to ask for the people paying the tobacco taxes in this state. Enouogh is enough. If it is so bad, let’s just outlaw it and be done with it. The government should stop treating smokers like social pariahs. That’s our job.

    If no one smokes anymore, not only do we lose the taxes from tobacco, we end up with people living to be unsustainably old. How are we supposed to make social security work if everyone lives into their 90s?

  5. - Saluki dog - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 3:45 pm:

    The decision belongs in the hands of each institutions Board of Trustees. Again Springfield usurping local decisions.

    Will be interesting to see how this will be enforced at U of I tailgates with the seven figure donor smoking a pre- game cigar? Can you say not at all?

  6. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 3:45 pm:


    Smoking is gross. I try not to patronize bars or restaurants that allow smoking, and do not allow guests to smoke in my home or vehicle.

    But banning smoking outdoors is a bit much. Are we supposed to completely shun smokers?

    And what happens if someone needs to smoke their medicinal marijuana? Do we allow people to smoke marijuana but not cigarettes? Indoors? Outdoors? Both? Second hand smoke from marijuana would seem to be even more potent than second hand smoke from cigarettes.

  7. - NIU Grad - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 3:46 pm:

    Oswego Willy,

    The issue to consider is that universities currently ban smoking inside the buildings. Those in residence halls have to go outside to smoke. This is banning it outside. So this means that students, staff, and faculty aren’t allowed to smoke outside of buildings, even if no one is around.

    The reality is that this isn’t going to be enforced, and if it will be there will be mainly a money-maker. The only difference is that the outdoor ashtrays are removed.

  8. - wordslinger - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 3:47 pm:

    I smoke. I have no problem with indoor bans, but outdoor bans are going to far on a “health” basis. If that’s the rationale, you have to ban cars, too.

    Plus, an outdoor ban will only be selectively enforced when a cop wants to tune somebody up.

  9. - Jay Dee - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 3:47 pm:

    Voted disagree. While I understand the need to ban it indoors, I don’t quite get an outdoor ban. There’s obviously air movement to dissipate the smoke that indoor air can’t. If bans are to protect the health of non-smokers, that’s fine, but if the goal is preventing individuals who wish to smoke, then I have a problem with it.

  10. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 3:49 pm:

    ===The reality is that this isn’t going to be enforced, and if it will be there will be mainly a money-maker. The only difference is that the outdoor ashtrays are removed.==

    Then why beef? That is my point, typed as I typed it.

    Sure, ban it.

    Enforcing it?

    ===Plus, an outdoor ban will only be selectively enforced when a cop wants to tune somebody up.===

    This is more true than the health issue.

  11. - Saluki dog - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 3:51 pm:

    This came to the Legislature after the U of I and several other community colleges had ready implemented the ban on their own.

    SIU wouldn’t play ball and the American Cancer Society went directly to the General Assembly. Again, duly elected or appointed Trustees should make local decisions. A bit much for the outdoor football tailgate some would opine.

  12. - Ray del Camino - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 3:51 pm:

    Agree. I am frequently on campus, where packs of smokers congregate outside the entrances to buildings. You have to walk through clouds of poison smoke to enter and exit the buildings. I am an ex-smoker.

    Maybe designated smoking areas would be better than a total outdoor ban. All legitimate prohibitions have enforcement problems. That’s no reason not to impose them.

  13. - PaperbackReiter - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 3:52 pm:

    When the bill bans smoking outdoors, even in designated areas, what we will see at my state university (UIS) is students having to smoke in cornfields off campus. Unless they have the financial resources to purchase a tractor or land, students will have to travel miles away from campus into the country in order to smoke. Way too over the top. Not to mention the unenforcability and lack of data showing this will improve student’s health any more than the last smoking ban. But anti-smoking politics is anti-smoking politics I guess, even when we borderline discriminate against college students. Keep in mind it is still legal to smoke, but we’ve done absolutely everything to make it impossible for people my age, and I’ve never smoked in my life.

  14. - Belle - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 3:53 pm:

    I can remember sitting at my desk at work and smoking so I realize it is getting very difficult to find a place to smoke.
    Not allowing it on campus, might help some young smokers realize that life is rough for those who choose to smoke.

  15. - ArchPundit - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:01 pm:

    So when my Dad started at ISNU now ISU, there was no smoking on campus allowed. So the President came out one day and asked someone why students were standing in the middle of the street.

    The reason was because that wasn’t school property and they could smoke there. I’m for limiting smoking outside to designated areas away from doors and windows and such, but at some point you begin to create new problems. When my former university banned smoking on campus I became far more exposed as I had to walk down the public sidewalk to get to main campus where now everyone smoked.

  16. - ChrisB - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:05 pm:

    Man, this will stop those college kids from smoking, just like making underage drinking laws stopped all alcohol consumption on campus.

    Agreed with 47th. Stop beating around the bush and just outlaw smoking, if that’s the end goal. Enough with this feel-good, do-nothing legislation.

    The only decent reason for an outdoor ban is to reduce litter. At this point, no kid who picks up smoking will be deterred by new laws.

  17. - Keyser Soze - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:07 pm:

    This reformed smoker can’t stand to be around cigarette smoke. The indoor ban has been a blessing. But to ban outdoor smoking is waaay over the top. The stats are that most smokers not only wish to quit but they try to quit, typically without success. It is a powerful addiction. At last glance about 23% of Illinois adults continue to smoke. Are they now second class citizens that must sneak a puff behind the bushes? Sorry, this is too self-righteous for my taste.

  18. - Not Your Nanny - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:09 pm:

    Reduction in state subsidized health care costs: insignificant. Political benefit from “protecting the health of college students”: priceless.
    Once again, the dysfunctional General Assembly and Governor avoid the work voters elected them to do, presuming instead to usurp the authority of Boards of Trustees and University Presidents to manage universities. Nanny state-ism at its finest. No wonder businesses and people are leaving Illinois.

  19. - Sunshine - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:11 pm:

    I like the ban. It’s a shot across the bow for those students anticipating relaxed pot laws.

    It just makes good sense to protect the health of many who would otherwise take up smoking…..though 47th does have a good point!

  20. - Stones - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:16 pm:

    Disagree, other than an occasional cigar I am not a smoker. That being said it seems unreasonable to be to ban outdoor (as well as indoor) smoking on a public college campus.

  21. - FormerParatrooper - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:17 pm:

    Banning smoking near entrances and air intakes makes sense, but all of an outdoor area? That’s just ignorant.

  22. - mcb - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:19 pm:

    Disagreed. Indoor is a good idea obviously, but outside? Nanny state taken too far. As for the cloud of smoke at entrances, make it just like the state ban where designated areas are a certain distance from entrances.

  23. - 4 percent - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:19 pm:

    If the Governor, Lung Association and others want to ban smoking, then pass a law outlawing it in Illinois. They “balance” the Medicaid budget by increasing tobacco taxes and then pass laws to diminish smoking.

  24. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:20 pm:

    While I don’t smoke and I would personally like such a ban, I don’t see how someone lighting up in the middle of the Quad at U of I is hurting anyone. Seems like an overreach to me.

  25. - lake county democrat - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:21 pm:

    Does this apply to vaping too, where there’s no evidence yet that “2nd hand vapor” is dangerous? Anyway, seems like overkill - there has to be a way to set up an outdoor area that wouldn’t affect non-smokers health.

  26. - Responsa - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:21 pm:

    I don’t smoke. I don’t like to be around smoking and don’t like the way smokers’ breath, hair, and clothes smell. But banning smoking outdoors in the free air is just going way, way too far with respect to restricting the freedoms and civil liberties of Illinois students, university staff, visitors, and faculty.

  27. - Wensicia - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:24 pm:

    I agree. Smoking is banned on all public school property, why not state college campuses as well?

  28. - Mason born - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:25 pm:

    Disagree. It is outside for the love. I could see extending the buffer from openings. What I don’t see is making faculty and students sit in their cars to smoke. I mean are they allowed to roll down the window? It’s silly and was a waste of time.

  29. - 47th Ward - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:30 pm:

    ===why not state college campuses as well?===

    Why not ban it everywhere? If it’s bad for you on campus, then it’s bad for you in your car, your home, anywhere.

    First they came for the smokers, but I didn’t object because I didn’t smoke. Then they made us eat fruit instead of french fries, but I didn’t cry out because meh? Then they came for my jumbo sized Mountain Dew, but by then it was too late to fight back…

    I hope that isn’t viewed as a breach of Godwin’s Law. Just some late afternoon snark.

  30. - Nonplussed - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:33 pm:

    The drops we have had in smoking rates can be attributed, to a great extent, to cigarette taxes that have made smokes too expensive for teenagers to afford.

    Smoke-free campuses are just another tool to attack this issue when people are young. An economist would probably say that it will be less effective than hitting them in the pocketbook, but it is another tool nonetheless.

  31. - Plutocrat03 - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:35 pm:

    This solves what glaring problem?

    I don’t smoke, so it is not a personal issue.

    Just another governmental edict to show the peasants that they are doing important work.

  32. - Cooper - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:40 pm:

    Ridiculous! What you’ll have is cigarette butts all over the ground and parking lots because their will be no receptacles. Will not decrease smoking in the least. People will still light up I know I would.

  33. - ArchPundit - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:41 pm:

    == I could see extending the buffer from openings. What I don’t see is making faculty and students sit in their cars to smoke. I mean are they allowed to roll down the window? It’s silly and was a waste of time.

    My current college does exactly this. I don’t smoke so it doesn’t bother me, but it seems a bit much.

  34. - zatoichi - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:42 pm:

    I thought the tax on smoking was going to be a huge state revenue boost. Now the same group wants to ban smoking? That makes perfect sense.

  35. - OldIllini - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:44 pm:

    Illinois Urbana-Champaign already bans smoking:

    “As of January 1, 2014, smoking is prohibited on all campus property at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, both indoors and outdoors, in university-owned vehicles and in privately-owned vehicles parked on campus property…” See:

    I agree it will probably not be enforced at football tailgates, but will be enforced in the stadium.

  36. - Robert the Bruce - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:44 pm:

    Disagree. Tax the heck of it, I’m cool with. Does this apply to med school? I hear most med students smoke to get through it.

  37. - Ahoy! - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:48 pm:

    I disagree. I’m all for the indoor smoking ban but believe this is unnecessary. I put this up there with one of those stupid laws that legislators pass that are completely unnecessary but make a few people feel better.

  38. - Bogey Golfer - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:51 pm:

    Disagree per the previous posts. I’m a non-smoker except for 1-2 cigars per year. Ban indoor smoking - no problem. Ban outdoor smoking - think its over the top. Will university employees who currently smoke ask to have taxpayer-funded programs to help them quit?

  39. - SAP - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:57 pm:

    I think that banning outdoor smoking is a bridge too far. I am OK with banning smoking in buildings, including dorms. I guess anyone with a car on campus could make a nice buck renting out seats as an uber/smoking lounge.

  40. - sal-says - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:58 pm:


    Remember, PUBLICLY funded.

    Next door neighbor, great guy, lifetime smoker, died from lung cancer in his early 60’s. A tragedy.

    College room mate, great guy, lifetime smoker, died from lung metastasized lung cancer in his early 60’s. Another tragedy.

    Do your loved ones and others a favor.

    Quit. Now.

    I, still somewhat alive, was able to after 18 years of 2-3 packs a day.

  41. - Anonymous - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 5:02 pm:

    An outdoor smoking ban is stupid anywhere. Period. That said, I have to wonder at people who think that it’s OK to light up in the middle of a large crowed of people standing shoulder to shoulder. I am referring to smokers who puffed away in SRO areas during grandstand shows at the state fair. What on earth were they thinking? If they wanted to smoke, they should have moved to the edge of the crowd. Instead, not wanting to lose their place near the stage, they stayed put and puffed away. Pigs. I don’t consider myself an anti-smoking zealot, but that’s what they were, inconsiderate pigs. It’s a shame that we have to ponder stupid bans like no-smoking-anywhere-on-campus because people are too stupid and blind to consider the rights of others.

    Sorry for the derail. Felt good to get it off my chest.

  42. - Anyone Remember - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 5:22 pm:

    As a non student who spends some time at UIS, agreed. Any outdoor location that allowed smoking, on a humid windless day, was the outdoor equivalent of a bingo parlor. Added benefit? UIS staff doesn’t have to clean up the butts (which are as indestructible as styrofoam).

  43. - Robert0117 - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 6:00 pm:

    Smoking was already banned indoors and within 15 feet of any building entrance. Campuses already had the authority to ban it elsewhere if that was the will of the students and faculty.

    Now if you want to send a message ban smoking on the grounds of ALL State buildings including the Capital.

  44. - olddog - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 6:20 pm:


    Reason: I smoked for 35 years, and now I’ve got COPD. Probably not the best reason, but it works for me!

  45. - Hack in the Back - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 6:34 pm:

    The huddled few who still smoke, turning the few remaining areas where they’re allowed to smoke into houses of worship, gathering together the most interesting of us all, the chosen from the crowd; where community will thrive, suffering shared, comforting: putting all the churches to shame.

  46. - South of the Loop - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 6:41 pm:

    Love going to Restaurants and bars now. You could not avoid smoke even in non smoking.

    Robert0117? Really they smoke at the Capital? I have not seen it.

  47. - Hack in the Back - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 7:00 pm:

    ===Really they smoke at the Capital? I have not seen it.===

    You obviously haven’t spent much time around the Capital. Not to mention in certain legislators offices.

  48. - Just The Way It Is One - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 7:53 pm:

    Agree–there are PLENTY of other places to smoke if ya just have to have your drag…!

  49. - modest proposal - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 8:38 pm:

    Voted no - this is an issue that should be left to each university.

    If someone is in Lexington, Illinois, on the ISU farm, with the nearest person 500 yards, they cannot smoke.

    However a person in Urbana, on a sidewalk, not owned by UIUC, they can smoke. and they can blow that smoke in the face of someone in the grass next to them, who cannot smoke, because that grass belongs to the university.

  50. - Tough Guy - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 9:22 pm:

    Voted agree. It is a nasty habit. Also when I periodically visit a university I don’t like having to walk through a fog when I enter a building (like most State offices). 15 ft. rule is not enforced.

  51. - dr. reason a. goodwin - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 9:36 pm:

    I’m not a smoker, but this is way over the top. Some of the hard core smoking professors will leave campus outside of classes and posted office hours.

    And, how about the first time a coed is assaulted when she walks away from the campus core in the evening to take a smoke?

  52. - Anonymous - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 10:06 pm:

    Keep righting laws that cost money to enforce. Then cut funding to higher education who has to enforce them. Wait I forget, are we talking about tobacco or pot?

  53. - Redux - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 11:22 pm:

    If everyone is forced to quit due to stringent regulations, the state and locals will have a huge tax hole to fill. Healthy peeps = good. Loss of sin tax = an issue. Just saying.

  54. - OneMan - Tuesday, Aug 19, 14 @ 7:47 am:

    It is just another way campuses are going to be able to fine students via campus judicial process…

    If it is legal then it seems there should be some allowance for it. Also depending on the campus it is going to just move the smoking clumps.

  55. - Anonymous629 - Tuesday, Aug 19, 14 @ 8:38 am:

    What those against a ban don’t realize is more than 80% of smokers start by the age of 18 and the rest by 25. By making it more difficult to smoke in public, smoking is de-normalized, the glamour goes, and the coolness factor is lessened. If smoking had been banned at my university, I likely would not have picked up the habit, which became an addiction that took my health and my money for more than 25 years. If a student doesn’t want to be attacked while walking to a remote area to smoke, then don’t smoke for goodness sake!!!

  56. - Judgment Day - Tuesday, Aug 19, 14 @ 8:47 am:

    Disagree. Unenforceable, and if tried, impractical. It’s basically a ‘feel good’ law that will probably only be selectively used used as a ‘harassment’ tool.

    Did anybody ever think about how this is going to be applied to our foreign student population, where their views on smoking don’t seem to be quite so ‘enlightened’ as our views?

    Maybe this law seems to be more of a piece of legislation designed to harass students coming to study at our universities from foreign nations? May not be the intent, but that may be the result.

  57. - À guy - Tuesday, Aug 19, 14 @ 8:48 am:

    Not a smoker. Rights are too infringed already. This goes way too far. Disagree.

  58. - I B Strapped - Tuesday, Aug 19, 14 @ 8:49 am:

    Non-smoker all my life so that’s a disclaimer. I do TRULY hate what people are inhaling into their body with every nail.

  59. - Toure's Latte - Tuesday, Aug 19, 14 @ 9:13 am:

    Disagree. Never smoked, love that there is an indoor ban and outdoor designated smoking areas I can choose to avoid.

    That said, ossing a ciggy butt to the ground should be a littering ticket. Walk around downtown Chicago and old used filters crowd any green space. That is some nasty stuff.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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* Emergency Management Officials, National Weather Service Encourage Winter Preparedness - November is Winter Weather Preparedness Month in Illinois
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* Governor Takes Bill Action
* Illinois Department of Labor Director Hugo Chaviano Awards Governor’s Award for Contributions in Health and Safety to the Illinois Refining Division of Marathon Petroleum Company LP
* State Regulator Elected Treasurer of Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

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