Iowa’s Smokefree Air Act burden to some, relief to many

Iowa's Smokefree Air Act burden to some, relief to many

by Sarah Keller and Jillian BishopStaff Writers

The Iowa Smokefee Air Act, which went into effect on July 1, 2008, prohibits smoking inside buildings and outside on Simpson’s campus.

Students must walk to city streets if they want to smoke. They are not allowed to smoke in their vehicles if parked on campus.

On April 15, 2008 Gov. Chet Culver signed the Iowa Smokefree Air Act. It was passed to help prevent the effects and dangers of secondhand smoke. The Smokefree Air Act prohibits smoking in most public areas, including private educational facilities.

“Because we have public on campus we need to abide [by the law],” Steve Griffith, vice president and dean of academic affairs, said.

The law has affected many college students who smoke, including sophomore Brooke Faulkner.

“I think the smoking ban sucks,” Faulkner said. “I don’t know where I can smoke, and it stresses me that basically, I have to go hide.”

Many students have complained that because they are of legal age, they should be able to smoke on campus grounds.

While other students view smoking as a way to take their minds off of school and work, many non-smoking students are upset about where smokers are allowed to have a cigarette.

“Almost every time I walk in front of the [Kappa Kappa Gamma] house there are people out smoking in front of it,” sophomore KKG member Macy Koch said. “It doesn’t appear very attractive to people driving by Simpson College if that’s all they see.”

Simpson students have different perspectives on the new law. Some non-smokers who believe students who want to smoke should be able to.

“I feel that out in the open, outside, people should be able to smoke if they want,” freshman Ryan Edwardson said. “I can understand not smoking inside in public areas, but outside I don’t see how it can directly affect non-smokers.”

The law does not ban smoking in off-campus apartments but does prohibit smoking in campus apartments.

According to Stephanie Krauth, associate dean of students, this is because the campus apartments are owned and issued to students through Simpson College.

“We are worried that students will start smoking in rooms because they can’t go outside,” Krauth said.

Violating the Smokefree Air Act may result in a citation or a $50 civil fine.

Campus officials have posted signs on building doors as a reminder to students and employees that smoking is not allowed on campus.

“According to the law, you have to post no smoking signs on all of the buildings,” Griffith said.

E-mails have also been sent out to all students informing them about the new Iowa law and its effects on Simpson College.

According to Director of Security Chris Frerichs, human resources can provide information about the act, or students and campus employees can visit the Web site at www.IowaSmokefreeAir.gov.