Legislation Could Make Illinois Colleges Smoke Free

 

Public colleges in Illinois could soon become smoke-free. Legislation is awaiting action by Gov. Pat Quinn.

Some colleges in Illinois, like the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, have already gone smoke-free, meaning smoking cigarettes isn't tolerated anywhere -- indoors or out. This measure would require that all 12 of Illinois' public universities become smoke-free, in addition to the state's community colleges.

Though the final vote mostly fell upon party lines -- Democrats in favor and Republicans opposed -- some lawmakers crossed ideological boundaries.

State Rep. Donald Moffitt (R-Gilson) said the mandate is about the health of young college students.

"The students that go there, some of them might even have respiratory problems, and they can't go off campus to get clean air, the air is what it is there," Moffitt said.

But Rep. Anthony DeLuca (D-Chicago Heights) said the legislation won't do much to change smokers' behavior.

"This is just going to basically put them in a situation where they're going to break the law," DeLuca said. "Because they're not going to stop smoking, they're just going to hope they don't get caught."

A spokesman for Gov. Quinn said he has not yet taken a position on it.

Story source: Illinois Public Radio