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Campus Smoking Ban Goes Into Effect

College and Universities will begin to implement a smoke free ban on Illinois campuses on July 1st.

Colleges and Universities will begin to implement a smoke free ban on Illinois campuses on July 1st.

The American Lung Association has been working with Illinois college officials to pass the Smoke Free Campus Act. The legislation was signed last year.

People age 19 to 25 have the highest rate of tobacco use for current users.

The Lung Association says there is no safe level to exposure and that smoking is a health hazard.

JoAnnHairston-Jones from Western Illinois University says the new law is not about the smokers ... "It's about the smoke.

The policy is not about judging other who choose to smoke. It's simply in place so simply tobacco is not present on campus where it can impact others. Only 17 percent of college students identify themselves as smokers.

State Senator Terry Link has been an advocate for a smoke-free Illinois. He says this new law helps prevent young people from starting to smoke.

"That freedom is there and you feel you can do a lot of things and if you have other students around you that smoke, you may take it up. You know you can't do it at home and so this is your first avenue of starting it."

The bill does not prohibit tobacco sales near campuses. The Smoke Free College Campus Act will make Illinois the third state to establish smoke-free campus laws.

Illinois will join Iowa, Arkansas and Oklahoma in requiring higher education campuses to be smoke free. Elementary and secondary schools in Illinois have been tobacco free since the mid-'90s.

The University of Illinois Springfield will allow smoking in parked private vehicles on campus or in those traveling through the campus. 

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