NORMAL — Smokers at Illinois State University have adapted to a ban on smoking imposed earlier this year on the campus quad and certain high traffic areas.
The ban goes beyond state law that prohibits indoor smoking in public buildings and within 15 feet of an entrance or air intake.
But legislation approved by the Illinois House would ban smoking anywhere on the campus of a state-supported college or university, except inside a vehicle that is not owned by the state.
Senate Bill 2202, the Smoke-Free Campus Act, passed 30-22 on May 1 and is pending in the House. Sens. Jason Barickman, R-Bloomington, and Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, voted “no.” Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, did not vote.
The no-smoking areas added at ISU were triggered by a student initiative, according to spokesman Eric Jome.
The proposal was approved first by the Student Government Association, then the Academic Senate, he said.
“I think it’s gone pretty well. We haven’t gotten a lot of negative feedback,” Jome said.
There are no smoking cops.
“The real enforcement is cooperation and courtesy,” Jome aid. “Most people are pretty good with that.”
In addition to health issues and people bothered by smoke, there was also a matter of appearance. Jome said people didn’t like looking at cigarette butts discarded on the ground.
Sophomore Mary Dougherty of Tinley Park has noticed a change since the ban. “The quad is a lot cleaner,” she said.
She was smoking at a designated spot outside of Milner Library as she talked, but thinks a campus-wide ban would be fine.
“There are a lot of places off-campus to smoke,” she said.
Others aren’t so sure.
Keith Viramontes, who graduated last week, objected to a total ban.
“I like my right to smoke,” Viramontes said. “If I’m in an area outside, then you’re not bothering anyone.”
Junior Monica Urrutia of Sterling isn’t sure about a broader ban, but thinks the ban on the quad is good.
“I kind of like it not blowing in my face,” Urrutita said.