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Rock Valley Preparing for 'No Smoking' Campus-wide.

On the first day of class, students find out about the new smoking ban which will go into effect next year.
ROCKFORD- On the first day of class, smokers are a common sight on the Rock Valley College campus. On July 1st of next year, Rock Valley students will have to put out their cigarette butts.  Governor Quinn has signed a law making all public college campuses in Illinois smoke free.

"I mean it's good," student Cortez Wamble says of the new law. "Eventually I'd like to quit smoking."

"If they're worried about pollution, there's plenty of cars in the parking lot that's doing worse damage," says sophomore student Nicole Dilonardo.

Designated smoking areas will be closed after the law goes into effect. Smokers will not even light up in cars unless they're driving around campus. If they're caught, a smoking offense can result in a $100 fine.

Taylor Murray says of the penalty, "I can't believe that. It's so ridiculous."

The penalty for further offenses is $200 a piece. The College administration will be looking at offering programs to help students quit.

"I'm not going to pay them to go to a program when I'm already paying them to go to school here," says Dilonardo of the idea.

"People that don't want to stop smoking aren't going to take that class," Wamble adds.

To be compliant with the new law, Rock Valley College needs to have a smoke-free plan in place by December 31st.  The college is already ahead of schedule by creating a task force to tackle the project. According with the law's timeline, the plan will be presented to students and staff by May 1st, 2015.

"Everyone will comply with the rules. They usually do," says Chief Joe Drought of the Rock Valley Police Force.


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