Strong opinions about smoking ban at Ball State

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Smoking will get a lot harder at one local university after a bold ruling to snuff it out campus-wide--including outside.  Eyewitness News went to Ball State University Saturday where the new decision is generating no shortage of strong opinions.

It's graduation day for thousands of students at Ball State. While these students are taking an important step for their futures, the university is taking one giant leap for health.

"Smoking is bad for ya," said one man.

"I could sympathize with the smokers," said Jim Richards.

Smoking is always a red hot topic. But, the Board of Trustees didn't let that stop them from voting to make the campus smoke-free. That means effective August 1, there's no smoking--even in the designated outdoor smoking areas.

"It's ridiculous. It's not fair. They're taking away our rights. We're adults," said an employee, who's also a smoker.

"I smoke a cigarette an hour during my six-hour shift," she said.

And she says taking that away won't be pretty.

"Stressful, stressful. It will be crazy. There will be a lot of angry people," said.

But, those angered by the ban seemed to be in the minority on this day. From students and faculty to parents--all seemed to support the ban.

"I know when I was a little kid, my parents had to stop smoking because it made me sicker than a dog. So, I've always been really bad with that," said Dustin Edwards, a student.

"I understand it's something people have to do or want to do, but the farther from our younger people we can get it, the better," said Dr. Dale Umbach, a professor.

"I'm anti-smoking now. I don't think they should be smoking--period," said Jim Richards, a parent.

There is one exception, you can smoke in your car as long as the windows are up.

It's a clear move to make smoking as difficult and inconvenient as possible with the hopes of creating a healthier campus for all.

Ball State banned smoking from residence halls in 1993 and smoking from all buildings in 1998. The most recent ban came in 2004 when the school restricted a smoking within 30 feet of the entrance to campus buildings.