Campus-wide smoking ban now in full effect

Jehad Abbed, News Editor

Eastern’s campus is now tobacco free as Wednesday marks the first day of its smoking ban after Illinois passed a bill prohibiting use on state-funded institutions in August of 2014.

Tobacco products such as vaporizers and e-cigarettes are included in the ban along with more traditional methods such as packaged cigarettes.

President David Glassman said the university does not anticipate the need to hand out citations for those who are caught smoking.

He said on-campus smokers will be respectfully and politely asked to adhere to the smoking ban aside from the signs posted on campus to remind everyone the new law is in effect.

Glassman said he hopes there are not stubborn individuals who choose to continue smoking on university ground after being reminded of the ban.

“(If) they are an Eastern employee, their immediate supervisor will be asked to talk to them about complying with the ban,” he said. “If it is a student, a representative of the student affairs office will discuss with the student.”

Signs reminding those on campus of the ensuing ban were up as early as the spring semester, which likely struck the attention of those planning to return for summer classes or the fall semester.

The university also offers smoking cessation and educational programs through Health Service.

Like Eastern, many other state universities began their own smoking bans Wednesday.

Matthew Godden, a 2015 graduate, said he thinks the decision was made in good conscience and for the right reasons, but he did not fully agree with the complete ban.

“I believe people who use should be allowed designated locations away from the non-user population,” Godden said.

He said he feels that it is somewhat of a discrimination toward those who make their own choice to use tobacco.

Most buildings required smokers to light up at least 15 feet away from entrance ways before the full ban.

There is no telling what type of resistance the ban will see once full enrollment and faculty return in the fall on campuses statewide.

Stephanie Markham contributed to this article.

Jehad Abbed can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].