Campus tobacco ban still not deterring some

Ben Grote, Sports Editor

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It’s a rule that is well-known throughout the school. Stickers and signs are posted throughout the campus, reminding students and faculty to abide by the tobacco-free policy.

Implemented in 2012, College of DuPage set up the tobacco-free rule on campus. The policy was created to help promote a healthier experience for students and faculty that attend COD. The ban includes smokeless tobacco, cigars, pipes, traditional and electronic cigarettes.

However, many people question the effectiveness of the ban and see this policy as more of a deterrent, as compared to an enforced policy. With the only repercussion being a $15 ticket, many people seem unafraid of continuing their use of tobacco on campus. 

It’s not an uncommon sight to see people smoking both traditional and electronic cigarettes on COD’s campus. Despite the stealth of electronic cigarettes, the students at COD openly smoke their electronic cigarettes, without much thought about the minor consequences that they could receive if caught by a campus police officer.

In addition to not fearing repercussions, there also seems to be confusion among students on what is allowed and what isn’t allowed in terms of what the policy prohibits.

“I didn’t even think electronic cigarettes were banned on campus, with them being water-vapor and all. My friends and I continue to use our e-cigs whenever we’re studying, or just hanging out in school. No one’s ever given us a problem for it yet,” a COD student said.

COD police officials described how they enforce the campus policy.

“If we see students smoking, or vaping on campus, we won’t write them up right away. We give them a verbal warning for their first offense,” Lieutenant Joe Girtin and Deputy Chief Ray Snisko explained.“We try to educate more than to write up people fines for smoking.”

Girtin and Snisko also mentioned a change in state law regarding campus tobacco use. The Smoke Free Campus Act was signed by Governor Pat Quinn, and requires colleges and universities to enforce a no-smoking policy both indoors and outdoors on campuses. This means that here at COD, and campuses alike, people will no longer be receiving fines through the school, but will be issued an actual police citation.

“We also have been reminding people about the Smoke Free Campus act, which begins January 1st. This means that people will no longer be cited through the school, but will be given a state ticket.”

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