Cold weather brings smokers indoors

By Carol Ekstrom

Designated smoking areas could be more crowded than usual in cold weather, which may impose problems for nonsmokers, according to an NIU administrator.

Patricia Perkins, assistant to the vice president of Finance and Planning and a member of the Interior Facilities Environment Committee, said the restricted smoking areas can cause problems when the cold weather comes around.

“Designated smoking areas are more frequented in winter, and as a result, smokers may be tempted to smoke where they are not supposed to,” Perkins said.

But some students said the cold weather does not change their smoking habits.

“I never even think of smoking outside, especially in the cold,” said Judy Otis, a student-at-large in communicative disorders. “I always smoke here (Pow Wow); I don’t know any other place that I can study and smoke at the same time.”

Another student said she can wait to get to one of the designated smoking areas in Holmes Student Center to have a cigarette.

“I can wait to get to Diversions to smoke,” said Judy Connolly, a junior political science major. “I don’t have to have a cigarette as soon as I get out of class.”

According to the NIU “no smoking” policy issued by the environmental committee, buildings using 100 percent recirculated air, such as Zulauf Hall and DuSable Hall, are only allowed smoking areas that have been ventilated properly.

Safety Officer Robert Vest Jr. said the Environmental Health Office is in charge of determining which buildings have proper ventilation.

“Certain departments will request smoking areas, and our office looks over the area to see if ventilation is adequate, and that the smoking will not bother others,” he said.

The residence hall “no smoking” policy, which was also passed in 1988, states there must be at least one designated public smoking area in each residence hall. Rooms are designated smoking or non-smoking according to preference.

Smoking also is allowed in various locations in the student center, including the Huskie Den and Diversions.