From smoke-free to tobacco-free
UIUC widens smoke-free campus to ban smokeless tobacco too
By Ted Cox
The state’s flagship public university is going from a smoke-free campus to tobacco-free.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign broadened its 5-year-old policy establishing a “smoke-free campus” this week to ban all tobacco on campus, including so-called “smokeless” products like chaw and snuff.
It builds on a campus-wide ban on “all smoke-producing tobacco products” imposed at the start of 2014, expanded in July of the following year to nearby Willard Airport and other off-campus sites owned by UIUC.
According to a message posted by Chancellor Robert Jones, the new expanded ban imposed this week includes “all forms of tobacco, including but not limited to chewing tobacco, snuff, snus and dissolvable forms such as orbs and strips.” Students were reminded that the smoking ban already included “vaping devices such as e-cigarettes and JUUL” devices, and that “the banned locations will include all campus-owned property — indoors and outdoors — as well as private vehicles parked on campus-owned property.”
The university has previously stated: “Our goal remains to achieve voluntary compliance by educating our campus community about the dangers of secondhand smoke,” but there’s a punishment element to enforcement as well, now extended to smokeless tobacco products.
University police and security guards can issue tickets starting with a written warning, escalating to a $25 fine on the second offense, $50 for the third, and $100 after that. The $25 fine can be waived with completion of a video educational program within 72 hours, but after that it’s going to cost those who get caught.
The university also reminded students, faculty, and staff that public marijuana smoking is illegal and will remain so on campus even recreational cannabis is legalized with the new year. As the new state law already states, pot possession is legal, but smoking weed in public is not.