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posted: 4/20/2012 10:59 PM

COD smoking ban takes effect Aug. 6

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  • Robie Combs, a third-year student at College of DuPage, smokes outside the Student Resource Center on Friday. Combs says he's opposed to a collegewide smoking ban that goes into effect in August; instead he would have preferred designated smoking areas.

       Robie Combs, a third-year student at College of DuPage, smokes outside the Student Resource Center on Friday. Combs says he's opposed to a collegewide smoking ban that goes into effect in August; instead he would have preferred designated smoking areas.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

 
 

The College of DuPage is telling smokers to butt out beginning Aug. 6.

That's when a smoking ban goes into effect on the 273-acre Glen Ellyn campus, adding COD to a growing list of colleges to enact such prohibitions.

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On Thursday, the college's board of trustees formally approved a "tobacco-free campus" policy, which was introduced for a first reading at the board's March meeting.

COD officials say the move will improve "the overall educational experience by offering a cleaner, safer work and learning atmosphere."

The ban applies to the use of any tobacco-related products, although tobacco use still will be allowed in private vehicles in the college's parking lots.

Officials said about 650 colleges or universities nationwide -- or about one in four -- have implemented some type of tobacco-free policy.

McHenry County College enacted a similar ban last fall, and Waubonsee Community College has smoking bans on the books for its four campuses. College of Lake County is looking into a possible ban.

COD President Robert Breuder said in news release that while the college is "proud to be on-trend with a national movement toward tobacco-free public spaces, we do understand this transition may be difficult for some individuals and plan to assist them as much as possible." The college will host a "Tobacco-Free Health Resource Fair" on campus next Wednesday.

At least one smoker on COD's campus wasn't happy Friday morning after hearing about the new smoking ban.

Robie Combs, 23, of Naperville, a third-year student at COD, said a more reasonable option would have been to designate smoking areas on campus, instead of making smokers go to their cars.

"You're not my parent. I am paying to come here," Combs said. "Smoking is my option. I chose to smoke. If I wanna quit, I'll quit. I don't need a school or any other person telling me, 'We want you to quit and we want you to do it here.'"

Those who violate the ban at COD may be subject to citations from the college's police department or disciplinary action for both students and employees.

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