Wednesday, July 1, 2015

College campuses to become smoke-free

A new state law goes into effect July 1st that aims to make college campuses healthier.

The smoke-free campus law requires all Illinois colleges to prohibit smoking by students or faculty.

The American Lung Association says they collaborated with lawmakers and schools for the last year to come up with the right policy.

The law gives schools and local governments the responsibility to develop their own penalties, and UIS has already begun that process.

"Very few people even on the task force knew this, but my father died from smoking," said Valerie Gebhardt from UIS. "He started smoking at the age of 12 and continued to smoke up until the time he died when he was 73. So I was very excited for this law to go into effect."

Gebhardt says implementing the program at UIS will happen in two stages. Starting July 1st students and faculty on campus will only be able to smoke in their cars.

Next year, tobacco use will be completely banned.

This story aired on WICS-TV 20 on June 30, 2015.

Watch the story online.