Smoking in classrooms - how recently did this stop?

At Indiana University, many classrooms actually have giant “NO SMOKING” signs on the walls - as if anyone could possibly conceive of lighting a cigarette in a college classroom and smoking, nowadays. The signs are such an anachronism, it’s insane. It makes me wonder, how recently could one smoke in a college class?

Also, in high school, I assume students were never allowed to smoke in class, even long ago, but were teachers? Did anyone here have high school teachers who smoked while teaching?

I smoked in some classes from 1985-1987. Very small classes, taught in the Prof’s office, 6-8 students. Prof was a smoker, as were most of the students.

As far as I know, it was not allowed in any regular sized class.

My dad smoked while lecturing…generally a pipe, until he quit smoking in 1987.

My mom told me once that when she was in high school, every time the lights went down to show a film strip or something, everybody lit up, including the teacher. She was born in '56 so do the math for what years she was in high school.

I smoked in a regular high school classroom once. The teacher got called away and was gone forever (turned out she got a phone call that her dad died) and a few of us went to the back of the room and lit up cigarettes and blew the smoke out the window. In shop class we smoked in the back of the room every day. There were windows on each side of the room and big fans that blew so hard you could barely see the smoke, much less smell it. This was technically not allowed at all but there’s no way the teacher didn’t know what we were doing back there.

When I start college in '97 my school had exterior hallways so we could smoke immediately outside the classroom doors.

It had certainly been banished from lecture theatres when I was first at uni in the early 1980s.

When I was at school (in the 1970s), being caught smoking anywhere on the school grounds was a serious misdemeanour.

When I finished HS in 1975 there was a senior smoking area, where students over the age of 18 were allowed to smoke. Teachers could smoke, I think, as long as they kept it to the faculty lounge. I don’t think they were ever allowed to smoke while teaching, and nowadays the schools in this district are completely nonsmoking.

That fall when I got to uni, the lecture halls still had ashtrays on the back of every third seat or so, but smoking in class had just been banned the year before. However, like Oakminster, I had one or two very small classes where just three or four students met with the professor in his office, and a couple of us smoked, as did the prof, who usually provided coffee for all.

I was born in 1958 and I don’t ever remembering any teacher or student smoking in class. The bathrooms and teacher’s lounges were a completely different story though.

My dad went to boarding school (in New England) in the mid-60s. They still had butt-rooms in the dorms.

When I was in college (round the millenium), one math prof used to take a smoke break (a pipe) in the middle of class. I think it was a 2-hr lecture, and he would give us a 5 or 10 min break in the middle. No smoking in the classrooms, though.

86/87 when I went to Seneca college in Ontario, which was a pleasant surprise.


I recall those signs at IU, but way back when I was there, a whopping 15 years ago, one could smoke in the lounge in Ernie Pyle (the Journalism School, for those who aren’t familiar), and part of the IMU (student union building) was a smoking section. I’m sure that isn’t allowed, now.

In our school district (Minneapolis–I would have graduated in 1977 if I’d ever gone to high school), the “alternative” school actually allowed the high school students to smoke in the classrooms. It was a misguided 1970’s attempt to keep kids in school at any cost.

In the regular high school all my friends attended, the parking lot behind the school was the tacit student smoking area. There was no official mention of it, but no authorities tried to intervene, either.

The whole campus is “smoke free” now, but people still smoke. In fact, since they took away the ashtrays, now they just throw their stubs on the ground.

Well ya, simply designating the campus as non smoking is not going to do bupkiss. Heck I got a hospital where I live that proudly proclaims that the whole property is non smoking, so what think happens. They just close their eyes to the non smoking thats happening.


They’re trying to do this at my school too. It’s the most ridiculous thing ever. It’s not technically a “smoke-free campus” (yet) but they put up no smoking signs EVERYWHERE and took away all the ashtrays and I swear there’s like one hidden smoking area about 3 feet wide on the far end of campus behind the underwater basket-weaving building. The result? All the smokers who used to respect the reasonable amount of non-smoking areas and use ashtrays just smoke EVERYWHERE now and toss their butts at random. I’ve even seen people smoking in the “meditation garden” now which has always been non-smoking and I never saw anyone doing that before they pulled this nonsense.

There are hardly any professors here who smoke, but there’s one guy - a professor of Yiddish Studies - who defiantly keeps the practice alive. The guy is from Poland or Russia or something and obviously the people there don’t give a shit about any “smoke free” anything. He’s like 6’2 and looks to be about 350 pounds, shaped like a beer keg topped with a gigantic graying Jew-fro and the bushiest face this side of Grizzly Adams. It’s like they picked “Yiddish professor” right out of central casting. The guy’s unmistakable.

In school- mid 60’s- it was illegal for teachers to smoke in front of a class in Qld (or wasn’t allowed).

I was born in 56 and we had a smoking area in HS but were not allowed to smoke in class. I smoked in class in college, though.

This is a slight hijack, but until around 1950 smoking was allowed on the city buses of my home town, Worcester, Mass. There was a big, nasty debate and a lot of hard feelings when smoking was finally banned on the buses. What’s the latest anyone remembers smoking being allowed on buses?

In Brisbane the trams (not buses) were always open air and as long as I remember had a sign “Smoking allowed rear of line only”. So the men were supposed to sit in the back.

However, reach a terminus and the tram changed- the back became the front.

We got rid of trams around 1967.

I had one prof in college (mid-80’s) who smoked in class. I remember being a bit shocked when she lit up the first time.

However, the hallways were fair game. I remember I had a TA for organic chem lab that smoked right outside the lab, where we frequently used ether and other flammable chemicals…:rolleyes:

My parents graduated in from med school in the mid-70’s. My dad remembers that both students and profs would occasionally smoke during lectures… in fact, he even recalls the prof smoking while delivering a lecture on the potential ill effects of smoking.

Some of my older friends can remember people lighting up in their offices or cubicles as recently as the late 80s, and we had designated indoor smoking lounges at work until quite recently (they were finally closed when new laws came in banning any smoking in or around workplaces, even in special ventilated rooms).