September 1, 2015

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – For the most part, students are adjusting quite well to the new no smoking policy on the John A. Logan College campus that went into effect this summer.

Freshman Brooke Kalaher of West Frankfort said she doesn’t feel that inconvenienced to have to smoke in her car.

“I was outside the door here smoking one day and then saw the signs, so…I come to my car now in between classes to smoke,” she said. “It’s not too bad. I try not to smoke around people anyway. I especially would not smoke with kids around, or anyone else who doesn’t like it.”

Kalaher, who said she has cut back to about a pack a day and hopes to eventually quit smoking altogether, said she knows how unhealthy smoking is for the body.

“I actually think it (new campus policy) is a great thing because those who don’t smoke shouldn’t have to be affected by those who do,” she said. “But I also think people should have the choice if they want to ruin their own lungs.”

Sophomore Aea Campbell of Carbondale is a non-smoker.

“I happen to like the new rule,” she said. “Last year, when I came out of the main building, I often had to pass through people who were smoking, and it was kind of uncomfortable.”

Campbell said she thinks it’s fair to ask smokers to move to their cars.

“Now, it doesn’t bother me,” she said.

Sophomore Danielle Noys of Carbondale said she, too, is a non-smoker studying dental hygiene.

“I’ve never been a smoker,” she said. “Personally, I’m glad the policy changed here. It’s a good thing. I know some family members who smoked. My grandfather was one. He smoked and eventually died of lung cancer. And I don’t think people should be allowed to smoke around children because second-hand smoke is the second-leading cause of lung cancer.”

Noys said some smokers can be inconsiderate of those who don’t partake.

“I don’t smoke, so why should I have to inhale it? It’s not fair  (to non-smokers), so that’s why I agree with the change on campus. I think having smokers go to their cars to smoke is a very good compromise. It’s their car. They’re in it. Hopefully, they will keep the windows closed, so the wind won’t blow the smoke in people’s faces when they walk by.”

Freshman Matt McComas of Marion became addicted to cigarettes not too long after joining the Army in 2006. He has since given up tobacco in favor of electronic cigarettes beginning last January.

McComas spent two different tours in Afghanistan through 2011 when serving as an infantryman with the 82nd Airborne. McComas is accompanied on campus by his service dog, “Sarge,” who assists him with medical alerts and mobility.

“I don’t believe smoking should be allowed close to building entrances, but I do think there should be designated smoking areas,” he said. “And I’m sure there are a lot of smokers who feel the same way.”

 

Don Priddy, Director of Emergency Planning and Risk Management on the JALC campus, said there really haven’t been any problems this semester with smokers being asked to move to the confines of their car to smoke.

“We’ve received great cooperation from students and staff,” he said. “Most of the complaints we have received are directed at the increase in cigarette butts, which are thrown onto the ground in parking lots. Our grounds crew works hard to keep our campus looking beautiful. Having to pick up a large number of cigarette butts each day is a daunting task when added to their workload.”

Priddy said the extreme solution to this issue is instructing his officers to start writing littering tickets to anyone who throws cigarette butts on the ground.

“I don’t want it to come to that, but then again, I don’t think it’s fair for the grounds crew to have to clean up hundreds of cigarette butts in the parking lots every morning.”

Priddy said he has placed an order for some personal ashtrays that persons can keep in their vehicle to dispose of butts. They should arrive next week, he said, and will be available for pickup at the Campus Police office, located in room E120.

“I ask that smokers make use of these, or other ashtrays, when disposing of their cigarette butts near their vehicles. Let’s all do our part to keep the campus looking great.”

 

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Dr. Steve O’Keefe at 618-985-2828 ext. 8569 or email at steveokeefe@jalc.edu.