In August 2014, Governor Quinn signed into law Public Act 098-0985, also known as the Smoke-Free Campus Act. As a result of this law, Northern Illinois University became a smoke-free campus on July 1, 2015. This means that smoking is prohibited indoors and outdoors on campuses of all state-supported institutions of higher education. Campus property is defined as property that is owned, leased, occupied or otherwise controlled by NIU and university-owned vehicles. For details regarding NIU’s policy go to hniu.edu/smokefree/NIU-policy.shtml.
This policy applies to all individuals, including but not limited to students, faculty, staff, other employees, contractors, subcontractors, vendors, volunteers, visitors, guests and members of the public. The policy is applicable 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Although no one is being asked to quit smoking, compliance with the law is expected. If individuals are interested in quitting, Human Resource Services has resources for employees and Wellness Promotion has resources for students.
According to the American Cancer Society, if a smoker is interested in quitting, there are ways family and friends can help. Here are some of the Do’s and Don’ts:·
- Do respect that the quitter is in charge. This is their lifestyle change and their challenge, not yours.
- Do try to see it from the smoker’s point of view – a smoker’s habit may feel like an old friend that’s always been there when times were tough. It’s hard to give that up.
- Do wash clothes that smell like smoke. Clean carpets and drapes. Use air fresheners to help get rid of tobacco smells – and don’t forget the car, too.
- Don’t doubt the smoker’s ability to quit. Your faith in them reminds them they can do it.
- Don’t judge, nag, preach, tease or scold. This may make the smoker feel worse about themselves. You don’t want your loved one to turn to a cigarette to soothe hurt feelings.
- Don’t take the quitter’s grumpiness personally during their nicotine withdrawal. Tell them that you understand the symptoms are real and remind them that they won’t last forever. The symptoms usually get better in about two weeks.
- Do celebrate along the way. Quitting smoking is a BIG DEAL!
Smokers are reminded to properly dispose of their smoking materials before arriving on campus or exiting their parked vehicle. Dropping cigarette butts on the ground is littering. Fines for littering can vary, but range from $35 to $500 in the City of DeKalb.