NANTICOKE -- Smokers attending Luzerne County Community College may want to kick the habit. The school is banning tobacco, and students who violate the ban could face fines as high as $50.
School officials insist the reason behind the smoking ban is not to fine people but to encourage healthier lifestyles.
Students return to Luzerne County Community College at the end of the month to begin their fall semester. When that happens, smoking will be prohibited on campus.
"We're excited to find out that we're the first one to go tobacco free," said Miranda Costa, LCCC health adviser.
The campus does have a few designated smoking pavilions, but soon the signs will come down; smoking won't be allowed there either.
"It's a health initiative that I think is going to help many students," said LCCC President Thomas Leary.
Violators of the smoking ban may face a warning for their first offense, and then a $10 fine for their second offense. The fine increases until the fourth offense, and then students will be slapped with a $50 fine for that, and every subsequent time they're caught using tobacco on campus.
Still, many think the policy is a good thing.
"I'm OK with it; I'm not a smoker," said LCCC student Daelyn Mynes. "I think that it might discourage people from smoking."
"I don't like second-hand smoke; I don't like smelling it, so I think keep a little separation so people don't have to breathe it in," said LCCC student Christa Talpash.
For students who smoke, LCCC is offering resources to help them quit. The smoking ban starts the first day of classes on August 29.