Smoking ban so far effective

By Alexander Chettiath

No students or faculty were seen smoking although more than ten urns remained at NIU as the campus-wide smoking ban entered its third day Friday.

The Smoke-Free Campus Act was implemented Wednesday at all Illinois institutions of higher learning. The prohibition includes using and/or carrying any kind of lighted smoking materials, according to the Smoke-Free NIU website.

“I agree with the smoking ban because this is a university and they are trying to teach us how to better ourselves so why not start with bettering our health,” said senior biology major Brittany Hannah.

There were at least 1,577 smoke-free campuses as of Wednesday, according to Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights’ website. More than 1,000 campuses were completely tobacco-free and 710 prohibited the use of e-cigarettes, according to Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights.

“I like that I don’t have to worry about ingesting second hand smoke,” said senior biochemistry major Abe LaMontagne. “Personally, I don’t think it will be well enforced. I still see people smoking even though it says smoke-free campus everywhere. I don’t think too many people will respect it.”

NIU was unable to be reached regarding enforcement of the act.

“It used to be people smoking in [the] building and banning that didn’t stop people smoking completely, but it reduced the number of people who smoked at least during the working hours and that’s a good thing,” said geology professor Reed Scherer.

Eleven studies in 2010 found that smoke free policies and laws were associated with a 6.4 percent increase in tobacco use cessation, according to the Center for Disease Control. Each year, an estimated 3,000 nonsmoking Americans die of lung cancer, more than 46,000 die of heart disease, and about 150,000 to 300,000 children younger than 18 months have lower respiratory tract infections primarily because of exposure to secondhand smoke, according to the American Lung Association.

“Second hand smoke kills and if I walk past smokers, that’s hurting me, and I have the right to be safe,” Hannah said.