Illinois Colleges to Be Smoke Free

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By Matthew Searcy

WSIL -- SIU will go smoke free across campus starting next summer. It's required under a new law signed by the governor on Sunday.

Starting next July, smoking will be banned at all state-supported colleges and universities. Under the bill, the only place smokers will be able to light up on campus will be inside their own cars.  
 
"I'm tired of the government telling me what I can do and what I can't do," said SIU student Nick Rion. "Where do you draw the line?"
 
He opposes the new law that will ban indoor and outdoor smoking on Illinois campuses.
 
"I don't smoke in a restaurant or a classroom. I'm outside," explained Rion. "Smoking may be bad for the environment but what about coal plants?" 
 
Not everyone agrees.  
 
"I always see someone smoking and it's just like, if you are going to smoke just don't smoke by me," said SIU senior Ashley Simpson. 
 
She supports the ban and says she's tired of breathing second-hand smoke while walking between classes.
 
"I just don't like the smell of smoke and at the same time it damages your lungs," she says. "It's not good for you anyway."
 
Administrators say SIU will inform all students of the new law before next summer and signs will be placed around campus
     
"Legislation requires us to do an implementation plan that will include communication and outreach," explained SIU Spokesperson Rae Goldsmith. "We will also include things like smoking workshops for people who want to quit smoking."
 
Some students say they won't go down without a fight.  
 
"I'll probably break the law and they will have to arrest me," said Rion. 
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