UPDATED: UI's Urbana campus to be smoke-free by November 2013

UPDATED: UI's Urbana campus to be smoke-free by November 2013

UPDATED 10 p.m. Wednesday

URBANA — Smokers have just over a year to indulge their habit at the University of Illinois before a new smoke-free policy takes effect — including at outdoor sporting events.

The UI's Urbana campus will become smoke-free by November 2013, Urbana Chancellor Phyllis Wise announced Wednesday, a response to a student campaign that started last year. A policy will be developed in coming months with input from the campus community.

The campus already prohibits smoking inside public buildings, with the exception of designated hotel rooms, and within 25 feet of a building entrance. State law is similar, with a 15-foot outdoor restriction.

The new policy will ban smoking from all university property — on the Quad, in Memorial Stadium or at athletic or entertainment events. Designated smoking areas would be eliminated.

"We want to ensure a healthy environment for our entire campus community," Wise said in a news release. "It's more about changing the campus culture and adhering to the principles we hold here. There is incontrovertible evidence that smoking is a dangerous addiction — and that secondhand smoke affects everyone — so we'd like to not promote it on our campus."

Last November, in a non-binding referendum that drew relatively heavy turnout, students voted by more than a 2-to-1 margin in favor of a smoke-free campus, 7,123 to 3,231.

At the students' request, Wise formed a committee last spring to consider the issue. It examined three options: no change, moving to a smoke-free policy, or banning tobacco altogether.

Committee member Keenan Kassar, a UI student who launched the smoke-free campaign in 2011 with former Student Trustee Hannah Ehrenberg, said the panel's primary concern was exposure to secondhand smoke, which is why it opted against going tobacco-free.

"We knew we had a lot of support, especially with students," he said.

Kassar was ecstatic about the chancellor's announcement Wednesday.

"This isn't just any change," he said. "This will actually impact students on campus in a visible way. You won't be seeing all these cigarette butts on the floor any more. We won't be exposed to secondhand smoke every time we leave the undergraduate library."

Subcommittees including students, faculty, staff and others — smokers and nonsmokers — will be formed to address issues related to the smoking ban, officials said.

Based on the committee's report, they will address how to work with unionized employees on campus; how to reach out to international students and others with different cultural attitudes toward smoking; and how to treat private cars parked on campus or apply the policy on city streets and sidewalks that intersect campus.

The campus also plans to enhance services offered through McKinley Health Center to help smokers who want to quit, and have discussions with smokers generally to ensure a smooth transition, Kassar said.

The committee wanted to give the campus time to implement the policy, and give smokers time to adapt, said Michele Guerra, director of the UI Wellness Center.

"We're concerned about tobacco users on campus and we will do everything we can to help them along the way," she said. "It's a personal decision whether or not to use tobacco. We're not trying to push people into a decision one way or the other. We want to make sure everyone who wants a voice will have a voice."

Guerra said the policy will apply to all university-owned property, likely including private cars parked in UI lots.

Kassar said some of his friends have criticized the effort as a limit on smokers' personal freedom.

"It is also the non-smoker's right to not be exposed to that secondhand smoke. ... It's two-sided, it's not a one-way freedom issue," Kassar said.

The committee's report concluded that the 25-foot boundary in the current campus policy doesn't reliably prevent secondhand smoke exposure, in part because it isn't always enforced. The report noted that the U.S. surgeon general determined in 2006 that "there is no risk-free exposure" to secondhand smoke, which causes lung cancer, heart disease and respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis and asthma.

More than 1,200 people die each day from smoking, and nearly nine out of 10 smokers began smoking by age 18 and 99 percent by age 26, the report said.

Guerra said the policy is designed to provide a healthy environment for everyone on campus, "and to ensure all people have the right to breathe in smoke-free air."

Eight other research universities have adopted smoke-free policies — Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Oregon and Purdue, the report said.

Kassar said more and more workplaces are becoming smoke-free, especially in health-related fields, so this will help prepare students for their careers.

Last April, a survey of a random sample of the UI community showed that about half of students and employees would support a tobacco-free policy.

"I think the U of I is definitely a leader in this, and I think a lot of schools will follow," said Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Administrator Julie Pryde, who was thrilled with the news.

"The beauty of this is it came from the students and the university respected it, and it will create a much nicer environment," Pryde said. "As a person with asthma, I would have loved to have a smoke-free campus."


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simplecitizen wrote on October 17, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Yes this seems an easy policy to uphold.  I'm picturing the attendants at the home football game tailgate lots trying to monitor parking and smoking at the same time.

Bulldogmojo wrote on October 17, 2012 at 4:10 pm

I've always been a non smoker so I'm glad about this, but I'm guessing there will be revenue generating tickets for the U of I as part of this policy. We will have to pull our campus police off of their assignment of giving bicycling tickets to take down the smokers. I'm sure Wises next move is to form a 20oz soft drink subcommittee with stop and frisk authority.

Utowner wrote on October 17, 2012 at 4:10 pm

I'm coming after your fast food in the Union and your overwhelming fagrance choices.  If I can't smoke when I step more than 15' from a building I don't want to deal with your grease smell and fake floral odor.  It offends me as a vegetarian morally and compromises my health (both fragrance and grease). I call for an extensive study on the environmental fall-out from venting airborne cooking grease from campus property!

ChampaignChicagoan wrote on October 17, 2012 at 6:10 pm

^THANK YOU!!! Oh so i cant smoke but i can be choked by these idiots overwhelming cologne and perfume. You know what? i get it. I get that no one likes the smell of cigarette smoke. But making this campus smoke free is just another way these cops will make money by handing out tickets for people smoking in those areas. Make designated smoking areas for people then. and if you dont like the smell of cigarette smoke. Then politely ask the person to move away or take a few steps away. I cant wait till this starts and the first cop or idiot aproaches me telling me to put out my cigarette. "ok ill put it out. also could you do me a favor and go home and wash off that disgusting choking douchey cologne or perfume that makes you smell like you got hit by a bouquet?" And for those who dont shower. oh yeah coming after you too. Sure Cigarettes stink. But have you smelled a homeless person? or a group of sweaty students who just got out from the gym?  especially on the bus after a rain shower? but cops arent gonna hand out "no shower" tickets. i can guarantee that. 

Ryder wrote on October 17, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Let me start by saying I think the proposed policy is faulty and going to be difficult to enforce, and that I agree that the revenue stream generated by the tickets is probably one of the motivating factors for its enactment.

That said, comparing cigarette smoke to other unpleasant odors is a false equivalency. I hate most of the stinky things you brought up as well, but there's not evidence out there to support the impact of them on another person's health the way there is for secondhand smoke. If this was solely about smells, I'd be in complete agreement with you that the basis for the rule is stupid and unfair.

There's the argument that a person who doesn't want to subject themselves to the health risks of secondhand smoke exposure can and should move out of the vicinity of the smoker. While this may be a reasonable expectation for an elective experience like going to an enclosed bar (yes, I know this was a thorny issue), I feel a different standard applies to a state and federally-subsidized educational environment that taxpayers are supporting.

Sid Saltfork wrote on October 17, 2012 at 8:10 pm

I have no problem with it except the definition of a smoke free campus.  Does the ban apply to drivers who are crossing campus on the major streets.  What happens if you are sitting at a stop light on Green, or Springfield streets?  What if you are smoking in your car parked waiting for your wife to get off work?  Some non-smokers are zealots in harrassing smokers. When I worked on campus; I rode the bus to, and from work for years.  If I smoked while waiting for my bus; I stood many feet downwind from others.  Several times, I had academic staff approach me to complain even though the smoke was twenty foot blowing away from them.  My response to their "don't you know that smoking is hazardous to your health?" was "so is talking to strangers".  What will be the definition of a smoke free campus?  

dw wrote on October 18, 2012 at 3:10 am

Riding in a bus or elevator with someone who has just come outside from smoking is like standing next the a pig farmer at an auction:  he may be the bestest guy around, but he stands alone.  The major difference being the stench of the farm hasn't been proven hazardous to your health, and unlike being at an auction it's hard to get away from someone in a bus or elevator!  Your sense of smell diminishes with continued exposure:  this is why people that wear fragrances over apply: they can't smell it anymore so they apply it until they smell.  Combined with that, smoking damages your sense of smell so most long-time smokers can't detect small to moderate amounts anymore.  People used to living smoke-free detect it immediately, whether it's second-hand from the butt or third-hand from a smoker's clothing.  If you can smell it, you're breathing it, and if it's tobacco smoke it's increasing your cancer risk.

The policy appears to apply to UI property only (and vehicles on UI property) - so if you're parked waiting for your spouse on UI property, then apparently it would apply. If you're on a C-U street then no (usually easily discerned by the parking meter/signage).

It's not an academic staff v. civil servant issue:  there are also faculty/academic professionals that smoke and will be impacted - having one or more degrees conferred upon you does not make one wise.

Being blunt, people who choose to continue smoking willingly raise health-care costs for everyone -- both by intentionally harming themselves as well as others around them with their airborne second-hand smoke and the lingering smoke in their clothing. If they are aware of the health impacts and not taking action, they are being callous to their loved ones by intentionally shortening both their own life-span as well as well as shortening the lives of those who live with them.  It's a personal choice, but it's a selfish and uncaring one similar to sedentary behavior/obesity.  The major difference being the second-hand effects (though food available in the home impacts children's palette resulting in impacting their lifetime food habits).

As the U of I and other institutions learn to more effectively dogfood (using your own product to improve your company -- i.e. making policy changes based on research), I foresee in the future that there WILL be restrictions on sugar water sales on campus and fitness and health programs justified by projected savings in health care costs alone:  an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and we've got a lot of pounds to cure here in Illinois:


The leverage for solving both our obesity problem, similar to smoking is all about the health impacts -- not based on physical attractiveness or smell.  The entitlements for smoking cessation programs and fitness classes are well worth the prevention dollars but are a carrot approach.  Sooner or later the stick will come.  The increased healthcare dollars justify it.

ClearVision wrote on October 18, 2012 at 8:10 am

"It's not an academic staff v. civil servant issue:  there are also faculty/academic professionals that smoke and will be impacted - having one or more degrees conferred upon you does not make one wise."

"Sid" has magic x-ray eyes that allow him/her to tell whether somebody is academic or classified staff. Or maybe it's just that no classified/unionized staff person would be so rude as to expect everyone else to live by their preferences.

Mark Taylor wrote on October 18, 2012 at 10:10 am

It's not an academic staff v. civil servant issue...

Apparently it is for some, as is seemingly everything (even if they otherwise frequently lament other people dividing us from one another).

But he's right about the implied threat in noting that it's 'dangerous' to talk to strangers -- those eggheads are lucky they didn't get bopped on the nose!!!!!1!

Sid Saltfork wrote on October 18, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Violence should only be used as a last resort in preventing physical abuse toward yourself, or others.  Especially in the presence of witnesses.

Sid Saltfork wrote on October 18, 2012 at 12:10 pm

ClearVision;  Actually, I agree with dw's statement that you quoted.  Sadly, I do not have "magic x-ray eyes" that make the distinction between whether somebody is academic or classified staff.  I have to wait until they make a statement to discern which group. 

Utowner wrote on October 18, 2012 at 9:10 am


Please, save me the nanny-state condescending tone.  There are literally thousands of environmental toxins.  I understand that eliminating at least one, that being secondhand smoke, is a good idea, but can we do it in a way that is respectful for all involved?  There are solutions:   smoking areas to limit exposure, and ashtrays, which are now noticeably absent, to control litter.

Although most anti-smokers use health studies to support their goals, let us be honest here, they simply do not like my habit due to odor.  The studies are convenient to their goal.  I am distrustful of any group that attempts to villanize another based on preference.

It will difficult to enforce this on city streets/sidewalks/easements and I hope UIUC is ready for the challenges that will come from liberty minded groups if they try to blanket this ordinance on property they do not maintain/control.  I respect the right of UIUC to end smoking on campus, I do not agree, but it is clearly a right afforded to them.  However, I feel that PUBLIC streets/sidewalks/easements should still be havens of liberty.

Mark Taylor wrote on October 18, 2012 at 10:10 am

This is the biggest threat to MY CIVIL RIGHTS EVAR!!!1!!

The dang nanny state communisto-nazi fascoistics should mind their own business and start doing stop and frisks on all THOSE PEOPLE who don't look right and WE KNOW ARE ABOUT TO BREAK THE LAW ANYWAY!!!1!!

It's fine for cops to follow a group of non white kids down the street for blocks, almost ram them with a car, pepper spray them, and choke a handcuffed kid -- THAT'S JUST GOOD POLICE WORK.

But when the cops try to prevent a REAL AMERICAN like me from blowing smoke in co workers' and strangers faces, well then -- then we are in a POLICE STATE and WE THE PEOPLE who LOVE LIBERTY will FIGHT BACK!!!!1!


Utowner wrote on October 18, 2012 at 12:10 pm

HAHA, that is great!  I'm about is far from the Tea Party as it can get!  I would probably be best described as a left-leaning Libertarian.  I usually LOVE your satrical posts, but I think you missed the mark with this one.  

I also don't think smoking is a civil right and nowhere did I say it is my right to blow smoke in someones face.  That would be, well, illogical.  All I said is that I'm fearful of the slippery slope and that I dislike the nanny culture that we are facing.  I also stated that there a numerous environmental toxins that we all face on a daily basis.  I'm also not 'fighting back', its UIUC property, they have right to regulate policy.  I just feel that this policy is problematic and there are more diplomatic means to reach the same end.

I fed the troll.  Other posters; I am sorry.

Mark Taylor wrote on October 18, 2012 at 12:10 pm

FTR, that was not actually supposed to be a reply to your comment.

But, more importantly, WHY DO YOU LOVE TROLLS?

Sid Saltfork wrote on October 18, 2012 at 12:10 pm

They are cute in the garden?

Bulldogmojo wrote on October 17, 2012 at 8:10 pm

If they can't manage to enforce international students who have an adverse TB chest x-ray to take the INH medication how are they going to enforce this?

wayward wrote on October 17, 2012 at 11:10 pm

Kind of curious whether this will result in employees conspicuously standing across the street lighting up (as is apparently the situation with another large employer that's gone smoke-free).

illini_trucker wrote on October 18, 2012 at 2:10 am

Another case of health UNCONSTITUTIONALLY overriding American freedoms... It's okay alcohol.. Don't fret.. Your next!!! Overwhelming tax followed by political prohibition.. It's coming back.. One law at a time!  'nuff said... 

svirpridon wrote on October 18, 2012 at 9:10 am

You could say the same about any number of industrial pollutants that factories/power plants would love to spew into the air. Unfortunately that air is a shared resource and suffers from the tragedy of the commons, thus you get regulated.

For alcohol... there are already such things as dry counties, which is really the equivalent here, not prohibition. Feel free to keep panicking and slinging around baseless accusations of unconstitutional to dilute the power of that accusation though.

I can see the new popular past time in the chem/life sciences labs though -- smoking in a fume hood.

Nice Davis wrote on October 18, 2012 at 10:10 am

What part of the U.S. or Illinois Constitutions upholds a fundamental right to smoke or prohibits a state body from banning smoking on its own grounds?

Sid Saltfork wrote on October 18, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Your right.  George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and the rest of the tobacco farmers must be spinning in their graves right now.  A smoke free America is a good idea.  Taxes may suffer; but other vices can be taxed as a replacement.  The legalization of marijuna could lead to a replacement tax for tobacco.  Nachos, and pizzas could be taxed based on their health hazards, and odors also.  The loss of the money from tobacco taxes will have to be made up somewhere.  Oh... wait... increase the tax on beer.  It has not increased for years.

Nice Davis wrote on October 18, 2012 at 5:10 pm


You're normally a fairly coherent poster, so I'm not sure where all these strawmen are coming from. Are you suggesting that because certain founders grew tobacco that the US Constitution somehow protects the right of individuals to smoke on state land?

Trucker claims that this law is unconstitutional. I ask him, and you, to tell me how you reach that conclusion. Keep in mind that something can be bad policy, or even offend your sense of what liberty in America is supposed to be all about, without being unconstitutional. What article or amendment gives life to a fundamental right to smoke on state land? Are you thinking it's the 1st Amendment right of assembly? 1st Amendment right of speech? Something else?

I really wish people would stop calling things unconstitutional when what they mean is "I don't like it and I think it's a bad idea."

Sid Saltfork wrote on October 18, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Nope; I am not concerned about the constitutionality of smoke free.  My main comment was regarding the lost taxes if everyone goes smoke free.  Morality taxes based on the majority of the public's disdain brings in money for governmental expenditures.  If there are no tobacco products to tax in a smoke free society; another public's disdain will have to replace the loss of tax money.  One of the other commentors mentioned obesity.  Products causing obesity could be taxed.  A potato chip, beer, pizza, etc. tax could be a replacement.  Add odor, and perceived attractiveness to the public's disdain; and you narrow the list of taxable products.

I understand a portion of the second hand smoke issue if it is in a confined area.  I understand the odor issue in close encounters over a prolonged period of time.  However, I do feel the issue is overblown (no pun intented) due to a portion of the population having a crusade that allows them to bully, and vent.  Health hazards such as diesel fume spewing buses, acid rain, alcohol, etc.. seem to take a backseat to the evils of smoking.

read the DI wrote on October 18, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Nick, the US Constitution doesn't ban smoking. It's left up to the states. The Smoke-Free Illinois Act, passed in 2006, allows any employer to ban smoking.


illini_trucker wrote on October 18, 2012 at 10:10 pm

I guess we could start with Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness... I have no qualms with puffing away outside, 15 feet away from entrances. But to "depublicize" an entire area many square miles long?? Freedoms being taken away, restricted, or taxed, one socialist at a time! I remember back in the 80's; fifth grade, our teacher told us that England actually had a high tv tax. We all laughed and were proud to be American that day... My, how the times have changed...

Nice Davis wrote on October 18, 2012 at 10:10 pm

"Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" is a phrase from the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution. Are you trolling me or are you being serious?

illini_trucker wrote on October 19, 2012 at 11:10 am

You are correct. Lets just call these unalienable RIGHTS unDECLARABLE rather than unconstitutional!!!  because we all know this equation is true: 435 US Congressman + 100 US Senators + 1 President + 1 Vice President + everyone else in private or public politics = ONE single 18th century English Tyrant! 

Mark Taylor wrote on October 18, 2012 at 11:10 am

That's right -- this is UNCONSTITUTIONAL!!!!1!!1!

I could'na said it better.


Local Yocal wrote on October 18, 2012 at 3:10 pm
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Super stupid question time: during the debate to go smoke-free in the bars of Urbana, the smoke-free advocates claimed that 17,000 Americans die each year from second-hand smoke. A statistic I still don't believe to be true.

How does a coronor determine cause of death to be second-hand smoke?

read the DI wrote on October 18, 2012 at 3:10 pm

It's not that difficult: the presence of the constituents of hydrogen cyanide, benzene, formaldehyde or carbon monoxide in a nonsmoker, for example, would be *ahem* smoking guns.


rsp wrote on October 18, 2012 at 3:10 pm

There have actually been a few death certificates were the coroner has listed second-hand smoke to be a factor. They know smoking causes certain conditions, and when you have someone living in the house who doesn't smoke they are exposed. If they die from one of those conditions the smoking is considered a factor. You can find tar and nicotine in the lungs of children who live with smokers. 


read the DI wrote on October 19, 2012 at 6:10 am

Keep in mind that most times someone dies of lung cancer, there's no autopsy performed.


sameeker wrote on October 18, 2012 at 4:10 pm

If the campus is smoke free, does that mean autos will not be allowed there also? How about the businesses that put smoke into the air? America has become a nation of offended little wimps.If we are going to ban an unhealthy habit, then lets get started. No meat, booze, fast food, sugar, soda, excessive work hours, perscription drugs, video games, sports, cars and trucks, and my two favorites, money and religion. Those two things alone have been responsible for wars, torture and the death of millions through the ages, and continue to do the same.Like everybody else, I am going to croak one of these days. Be it from smoking or something else.People should just live and let live.

Nice Davis wrote on October 18, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Oh man these are some great rhetorical points you're scoring and totally not just goofball hyperbole

justmwa wrote on October 18, 2012 at 10:10 pm

I'm quite certain i heard/read U of I enrollment dropped considerably this academic year compared to past. If so, what about the 3,231 who didn't vote favorably for this ban? Didn't they pay the same tuition as the students who voted in favor? Now they're facing being told "too bad so sad... can't smoke" True it's the U of I's right to ban smoking, but i'm curious how this will affect future enrollment? I also agree with some of the other comments regarding enforcement. i.e. private vehicles (excuse me for a second..BWAHAHAHAHA), at night, driving through campus, lines outside the bars (it's still campus) .... all i can say to that is.... GOOD LUCK!!!! Watch the assaults, attacks in campus parking garages, vehicle burglaries, strong arm robberies etc. increase while the Popo goes after smokers. LOL... what a joke! Next they'll take a vote whether or not, the U of I Grounds Dept. can cut trees down, due to environmental oxygen depletion. I'm sure they'll be examining those "statistics" sometime soon as well.

Bulldogmojo wrote on October 19, 2012 at 8:10 am

Yes its absurd how we plan on wasting the time of our police over these various tickets. If the students don't pay them they will encumber them so they can't graduate just like parking tickets. 

The University thinks it has a lot of rights and plans on making money with all of them. This University's arrogance of autonomy is historic. They consider themselves a nation unto themselves. It has its own govt., police force, patent officers, power plant, medical facility and it loves to hide money and abuse it's rights of eminent domain.

Things are only transparent if you know where to look. I don't trust Wise. I can only hope that the EPA finds materials in Nike shoes harmful to your health.

ROB McCOLLEY wrote on October 19, 2012 at 12:10 am
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Oh c'mon this is obviously a ploy to rid the U of unproductive departments, like Art and Foreign Languages.


The dullards don't recognize that all of our top ECE grad students are from Korea and China, and smoke like chimneys.

Mark Taylor wrote on October 21, 2012 at 8:10 am

Excellent racial breakdown of the university and racio-smoking traits. I also suspect phrenology plays an as yet unrecognized role in the smoking-Asian-engineering nexus...

danrice56 wrote on October 19, 2012 at 1:10 am

"The policy appears to apply to UI property only (and vehicles on UI property) - so if you're parked waiting for your spouse on UI property, then apparently it would apply."



Whoa, whoa whoa. YOur vehicle  is YOUR PRIVATE property, regardless of where it is parked. I know some schools have signs that, by simply entering the grounds, you have given up your right to privacy, and that is bs, but at least that is to prevent weapons from being used on school property.


But THIS.... So, smoking in your privately owned vehicle, with the windows rolled UP, will SOMEHOW magically give someone five feet outside your car lung cancer.


Not that I'm crazy about the idea of no smoking anywhere on campus to begin with, and this from a non-smoker.

Why not make it illegal already? Because the government profits too much from it, that's why.


One step closer to a nanny state. I suspect part of the motivation is not just to save people from others, but to also save people from themselves.


And that's when we need to start worrying.



Mark Taylor wrote on October 19, 2012 at 8:10 am

I know, right? The day the dang communo fasciustic govermint stopped enterprising LIBERTARIAN REAL AMERICAN drug dealers from selling heroine and meth to little kids on the playground was the day WE STOPPED BEING FREE and became dependent sheep/children ON THE GOVERMINT PLANTATION!!!!!1!

WAKE UP and STOP BEING CHILDREN. Only in a libertarian jungle wonder land where no govermint bureaucrat tells ANYONE WHAT THEY CAN AND CANNOT DO are people living a life worth living.

With this policy, America is now A POLICE STATE!!!!1! The dang police should leave us REAL AMERICANS alone and bust all those non real Americans (you know who they are).

danrice56 wrote on October 19, 2012 at 9:10 am

Nice try Mark. Utilizing sarcasm to make your point. Actually, if the government were tomove somewhat closer to a libertarian way of doing things, this would be a much better place for ALL to live, non smokers included.



Of course we need some restrictions, but not being allowed to smoke in your own vehicle, windows rolled up, simply because of where it is parked is bs.


And, again, itis ridiculous that they are treating a legal act done by consenting adults as if it were illegal. Make it illegal or allow it at least somewhat. You say you can still do it in your own home. How much longer, I wonder.



And good luck enforcing it consistently. Cause God knows students and faculty who smoke will obey the rules. Right. I think staff will bear the brunt. And visitors. Unless they're wealthy alumni and/or famous.


I'd like to be a wealthy alumnist, and light up in Wise's face just as I am about to drop a check for several hundred grand in her lap.


Wonder if she'd say anything.




Mark Taylor wrote on October 19, 2012 at 11:10 am

I'd like to be a wealthy alumnist, and light up in Wise's face just as I am about to drop a check for several hundred grand in her lap.

I know, right???2? That would put that chancellor in her place and shut her up real good!!1!!

And you're also right about this being a better place if we remake it into a libertarian wonderland. But I despair at that possibility with each and every day bringing headlines that make me scream and scream and scream about the ENCROACHING POLICE STATE we sheeple live under but CAN'T EVEN SEE.

danrice56 wrote on October 20, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Libertarian wonderland? I didn't say that. I said it would be a better university, and state, and country, if we leaned more toward libertarian views. We still need some restrictions. I feel this particular one is going to far.

It may not be constitutionally protected, but it is legal, and being treated as if it were illegal.


And as I said before, I think this is being done not solely to protect people from second hand smoke, but first hand smoke.


We should worry most when the government attempts to protect us from ourselves.

Mark Taylor wrote on October 21, 2012 at 7:10 am

I know, right? All these laws against speeding and selling drugs to kids and not allowing minors to smoke or drink; health inspection and laws about what people can put in ground meat and toothpaste -- even if consenting adults would buy their product.

These are all just nanny state encroachment on our LIBERTY!!!1! When elected govermint starts IMPOSING health and safety laws -- that's when WE'VE SURRENDERED OUR FREEDOM TO THE NANNY STATE!!!1!

I want to live in a land with no govermint protections for individuals. I want to open a pet food company that sells poison product -- it's you'r own fault if you feed it to your pets after not first testing each batch in your lab to check for poisons.

Right now, we got the dang govermint telling me I can't sell my food to consenting adults but that's just infantalizing us all and making us dependent on the nanny state govermint plantation, right?

wayward wrote on October 19, 2012 at 9:10 am

How would the rule work with streets and sidewalks, which are generally public right-of-ways?

Nice Davis wrote on October 19, 2012 at 9:10 am

The University would not be able to enforce this policy on any public ROWs owned by Champaign or Urbana. It is able to enforce it on those sidewalks, driveways, private streets, and parking lots that are University property.

Nice Davis wrote on October 19, 2012 at 9:10 am

It's incredible to me how one-sided this law's opponents' view of freedom is. What is objectionable about allowing a property owner to ban non-constitutionally-protected behavior on their own property?

When the restaurant/bar ban was being discussed, many opponents made the argument that a better policy would be to let property owners decide whether or not to allow smoking on their own property. If you believed then that the restaurant/bar ban was an infringement of property rights, then consistency demands that you support the University's property rights as well. It certainly can't be the case that public landowners have an obligation to allow smoking on their lands; no Constitutional right to smoking on public land exists.

And for all the opponents whining about potential enforcement in cars parked in University lots: a private vehicle does not shield you from the laws of the ground it sits on. Or do you think you can legally drink alcohol in a publicly parked vehicle?

rsp wrote on October 19, 2012 at 10:10 am

I really hate to bring this up because I'm in favor of the ban. There is the little technicallity of we actually own the University of Illinois, so it's "our property". We entrust it to the state. We are the state. Our employees work there. The students voted to go smoke-free. So it comes full circle. Our employees are going to tell "us" we can't smoke on "our own property". 

Nice Davis wrote on October 19, 2012 at 10:10 am

Saying that taxpayers "own the University" is an appealing rhetorical flourish, but it is wholly inaccurate. As a state taxpayer, I don't have the right to paint the walls of the library, designate residents of other states as trespassers and keep them off the Quad, or sell off a University lot to raise cash. What I do have is control over the leadership of the University, albeit through a very attenuated ability to pressure the Governor to appoint new members to the Board of Trustees. Whether the taxpayers should have more direct control over University leadership by directly electing BOT members or even campus leadership is an interesting debate, and one worth having, but it is totally unrelated to the question of whether taxpayers own the University...the answer to which is an emphatic no.

GeneralLeePeeved wrote on October 19, 2012 at 10:10 am

The U is always going to do whatever it wants to do (unless, of course, it steps on the toes of a major donor).....whether or not those decisions are prudent is always going to be debatable, as can be evidenced from the lengthy discussion thread on this story.  I, however, think it's also fair to question the integrity of those who are taking credit/being blamed for this decision.  First, Phyllis Wise.......Chancellor Wise's integrity can once again be called into question as she continues to sit on the BOD of Nike, even after the latest allegations.  For those out of the loop regarding Nike, they first raised eyebrows a few months ago, when the Chairman reiterated his support for Joe Paterno, who, at a minimum, enabled Sandusky for more than a decade.  More recently, it has been alleged that Nike paid Hein Verbruggen, the former President of the UCI) $500,000 to keep his mouth shut about a positive PED test result for Lance Armstrong.  Could this payment have been made without the BOD's knowledge?  If true, these actions, along with the allegations of their use of sweatshop overseas labor, would seem to make Nike a company to steer clear of for people such as Wise....her decision to continue her association with them is fair game for second-guessers.  Secondly, the students who voted for the smoking ban.......these are the same students, who every spring, attempt to set new standards of inebriation during "Unofficial" weekend.....so, certainly, their thoughts on anything pertaining to health and safety should be taken with a large grain of salt.

Bulldogmojo wrote on October 19, 2012 at 2:10 pm

I can't wait until this starts so people can start posting pics on Twitter of University Administrators, BOD, Deans and Execs breaking the smoking ban...

LocalTownie wrote on October 19, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Ok, now I have lived in the twin cities my entire life. My father has been a University employee for 30 some years. Yet I don't necessarily know what is University property and what is not. How are people supposed to know? Sure, it's pretty obvious that people are not going to be allowed to smoke in front of Lincoln Hall, or Memorial Stadium, or the Alma Mater. Fine. But which sidewalks and right of ways are university property? Seriously, who is going to know this? Are they going to spend hundreds of thousands of tax dollars on signs telling people where they can't smoke? I am a non-smoker, never have smoked but this just seems ridiculous and hard to enforce. I have no problem with people smoking outside and away from doorways, it's not hurting anyone.  If you are worried about second hand smoke, don't walk near the person smoking.

Last I heard smoking was still legal in this country and you can't force people to quit because it's "politically correct" and makes another bragging point for the University "Oh yes, we are a non-smoking campus, blah, blah, blah". People are still going to light up, like it or not.

alabaster jones 71 wrote on October 20, 2012 at 11:10 pm
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I'm glad that most of the commenters here realize how silly this ban is.

"We want to ensure a healthy environment for our entire campus community," Wise said in a news release. "It's more about changing the campus culture and adhering to the principles we hold here. There is incontrovertible evidence that smoking is a dangerous addiction — and that secondhand smoke affects everyone — so we'd like to not promote it on our campus."

^^^What a load!  All of these smoking bans and restrictions floating around these days would irritate me a lot less if their purveyors stopped puling the whole "trying to promote good health" facade.  It's about raising some revenue off of smokers, and about trying to rid the campus of cigarette butts and odor.  I would at least respect their honesty if they admitted their obvious motivations.  If they were really concerned about the safety of the students, why aren't they trying to ban alcohol on campus?  Obviously, alcohol causes WAY more health problems on campus than cigarettes do.

The idea of someone getting a ticket for smoking in their own car is absurd.  If this ban was just for open areas where a lot of people congregate, I would still think it was nanny state nonsense pushed by whiny crybabies, but it would at least be a lot more reasonable.

alabaster jones 71 wrote on October 20, 2012 at 11:10 pm
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Also, as Rob noted, has the university stopped to think about what this will do to one of their pride and joys, the engineering and science departments?  A sizable portion of those students are Asians who smoke constantly.  Unlike most of the American students on campus, a lot of those kids don't drink or do drugs.  Cigarettes are their vice of choice.  For most other students, the vice is alcohol, marijuana, harder drugs, or all of the above, all of which present more of a public safety hazard to people on campus than cigarettes do.

alabaster jones 71 wrote on October 20, 2012 at 11:10 pm
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Oh, and on a related note to all that, here's something else to chew on...most Oriental nations have much higher smoking rates than the U.S., yet people in those countries still tend to live a lot longer than Americans do because they have such healthier diets.  Hmmmm.

If the U of I's motivation for this smoking ban is the health of students, as they claim it is, then they should ban all junk food establishments from campus and replace them with hummus booths.

Mark Taylor wrote on October 21, 2012 at 7:10 am

You're ding dang right about those orientals and how much all of them smoke on campus!!!1! Hmmmmm!!!!1!

Excellent insight into the orientals and the smoking 'pproblem' Alabaster.

Nice Davis wrote on October 21, 2012 at 10:10 am

"Everything must be allowed or everything must be banned" is a pretty poor argument.

sameeker wrote on October 21, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Sounds like a valid point to me. I suppose you just want to ban the things that you hate. I propose a ban on whiney, offended wimps.

alabaster jones 71 wrote on October 21, 2012 at 7:10 pm
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I agree. Whiney, easily offended wimps raise my stress, likely resulting in higher blood pressure and other health issues.  And, if I have learned anything from them, it's that if anything in life inconveniences me, I should try to ban it.  Yes, that ban might cause others inconvenience, but I have also learned from them to always consider my comfort more important than everyone else's.

You and I have a "right" to not be bothered by these whiners just as much as they have a "right" to not encounter any cigarette smoke.

Mark Taylor wrote on October 21, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Now that's good satire!!!!1!

(I'm taking notes, yep I am...)

Nice Davis wrote on October 21, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Good grief. Somebody get these two a fainting couch, at least until they can come up with a pair of arguments less at-odds than "this is just a money grab" and "they won't be able to enforce this at all".

Mark Taylor wrote on October 21, 2012 at 7:10 am

The idea of someone getting a ticket for smoking in their own car is absurd.

This is just as insightful as your insight into the smoking and health habits of the 'orientals' -- bang up job!!!1!

Of course, anyone with a lick of sense knows that if you do something in your own car, no one can tell you not to do it. Now, you're not supposed to drink alcohol in public parks because the dang nanny state took that CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED FREEDOM away from us!!!!11!

However, like other commenters on this thread, have discovered the strikingly brilliant legal loophole that allows me to frink in a public park as long as I do so in my car. Why, just the other day, I was partying in my car at a park and a cop came up and tried to go all totalitarian on me. I said:

Back off you dang nanny state fasciu-communistic!!!!!11 I'm in MY CAR and BY THE CONSTITUTION you can't do a thing to me. Why don't you arrest some of these THUGS beating up REAL AMERICANS all over town????2?

Now, my case is coming up soon. I'm planning to appeal to the SCOTUS -- I'm pretty dang sure Chief Justice Roberts agrees with me and the legal sages on this thread about the protective properties of being in your own car.

Now, if only the cops would leave the REAL AMERICANS alone and arrest some of these THUGS who are driving while gansta all over the dang place.

THAT"S what the cops are SUPPOSED to do!!!!1!

alabaster jones 71 wrote on October 21, 2012 at 6:10 pm
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Ol' Mark Taylor, always there to satirize arguments that nobody is making.  Nothing I had said was related to whether it was legal or unconstitutional to ban smoking in cars.  Rather, I said it was absurd, which it is.  Some people, like yourself, think it's the government's job to protect people from their own free will, and other people don't.  That's all it boils down to, Mark.  Trying to link this ban to laws banning poison in toothpaste and pet food is really grasping at straws.  Your little act is getting stale, I think it might be time for some new material.

Oh, and if you don't think the Asian kids on campus smoke disproportionately compared to the other ones, you either don't go on campus very often or you're blind.

Mark Taylor wrote on October 21, 2012 at 8:10 pm

I was agreeing with you when you said it was absurd for them to think they can ban someone from smoking in their own car. And I agree with you that govermint has no business trying to promote the safety and well being of citizens -- that's why we should do away with laws regulating the health of products, things like speed limits and safety regs for cars and in the workplace, anti pollution laws and most other laws.

All they do is try to protect us from ourselves, right? Just like we need to ban every substance that's harmful or ban absolutely nothing, we either have to have laws regulating every single potential harmful action or none at all.

Like you said, students can and do drink alcohol, so the university has no business curbing smoking in any way.

And I was also agreeing with you that all those Asians doing all that smoking is obviously not hurting their health in any way -- just look at them, right?

alabaster jones 71 wrote on October 21, 2012 at 8:10 pm
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To point out the painfully obvious, there is a major difference between regulating the health and safety of products and banning the use of a product entirely.

The fact that you think these bans are about "promoting safety and well being" just reveals your naivete.

Of course it is hurting their health.  Yes, a lot of them look malnourished, as you appear to be implying.  Heavy smokers often don't eat very much because cigarettes curb appetite.  That's why supermodels usually smoke a lot.  However, that doesn't mean they should be banned from making that poor choice.  It's their lives.

Mark Taylor wrote on October 21, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Yes, a lot of them look malnourished, as you appear to be implying.

That may be how you read my comment, but it's not what I said in any way. Interesting inference though.

Once again, your insight into the health habits of large groups of people, based apparently solely on sight and your obviously unrivaled breadth of knowledge and wisdom, is astounding...

alabaster jones 71 wrote on October 23, 2012 at 5:10 am
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Making an observation = declaring myself an expert. 

You have a real talent for making straw man arguments.

Nice Davis wrote on October 21, 2012 at 10:10 am

Alcohol is tightly regulated on campus, to the point of being nearly entirely banned for students. You can learn about the University's Alcohol Management Policy here: http://www.cam.illinois.edu/viii/VIII-10.htm.



The fact that a lot of students drink unhealthy amounts at off-campus bars is not really a failing of the University.

rsp wrote on October 21, 2012 at 2:10 pm

We must not have the same definition of off-campus.

alabaster jones 71 wrote on October 21, 2012 at 9:10 pm
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Wow, all those bans and restrictions really work well, don't they?

They work about as well as this smoking ban likely will.

sameeker wrote on October 21, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Make everybody quit and there will be a lot of taxes lost. I suggest replacing the cigarette tax with a 100% matching tax on ALL political contributions.

jlc wrote on October 22, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Does "university-owned property" include the airport and the golf course?

Bulldogmojo wrote on October 22, 2012 at 3:10 pm


Let's save our police a bunch of time and paperwork so they can work on real crime. If you smoke you should be able to get a smoking "Permit" just like parking and you will pay it through payroll deduction and you will be issued a special ID you have to hang around your neck while you are smoking on campus.

Yes I'm being sarcastic but there is a 50% chance this idea will take hold at the next board meeting.

Sid Saltfork wrote on October 24, 2012 at 12:10 pm

PARKING PERMIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  How many employers charge their employees for parking at the workplace???  Campus Parking depends on tickets, and permits for their budget.  People complain about university employees wages; but never think about the hundreds of dollars the employees spend each year for the privilege of parking somewhere in a vicinity of blocks so they can go to work.  Departmental paid parking would be a great financial perk for some.

hadtocomment wrote on October 23, 2012 at 12:10 pm

I would like to see all obese people banished from campus as well.  This to is a health issue.

UIUC campus would be a ghost town!! hahhaa

sameeker wrote on October 24, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Now the smokers should get to choose what freedom they want to take away from the others. I suggest the elimination of political correctness on campus.

smokefree wrote on November 09, 2012 at 2:11 am

Glad to hear the good news about going 100% smokefree. Only question is, why wait so long to implement the revised policy. Make it effective as soon as possible and then allow a grace period for the community to become aware.

thorx wrote on November 15, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Thank goodness!  It's about time.  I agree, I wonder what the delay is for.  Start it right away.  What a horrible, totally disgusting habit.  I don't mind if you want to get leukemia, lung cancer, heart disease, but keep that crap away from me.