COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho -- North Idaho College made the decision to allow smokers back to certain areas on campus. The school had been smoke-free since 2010.
Officials at NIC said that the decision is a compromise and a win-win.
"It was revisited last spring when students came forward and said we know we have a non-smoking campus and we want to maintain it generally as a non-smoking campus. But we'd like to have designated smoking areas on the periphery of campus," said Graydon Stanley, Vice President of Student Services at NIC.
He added that the initial problem was that smokers were gathering in common areas just on the outskirts of campus. He said that lead to several students walking through smoke on their way to class.
The plan is to have three designated smoking areas on campus, but more could be added later.
"People gathered in all the places where, again, it went back to that original concern of the number of people being impacted by smokers," Stanley continued. "We felt like it was a way to accommodate those smokers within the context of a non-smoking campus."
KREM 2 News spoken to a student who said she sees the decision as a compromise but it could still impact how non-smokers view NIC.
"Or it could just be a step back," said Reina Thraxton, an NIC student. "Just because some people that have asthma or have a hard time breathing could look somewhere else."
Others disagree, and think they should be able to smoke wherever they choose.
"Honestly, I think you should be able to," said Josh Brown, another NIC student and smoker. "I mean, you're 18 and it's college. I think you should be able to smoke going to your class if you want to. They judge us on smoking cigarettes here. I don't like it."