Portland Community College has backed off its strict on-campus smoking ban after student smokers congregated in nearby residential areas and left a stream of cigarette butts.

PCC announced Monday that it will modify the policy by creating 'Good Neighbor Zones' on the edge of some of its campuses, where students will be allowed to smoke. The college also increased its fines for smoking in non-designated areas on campus, from the current $25 up to $50, or $75 in areas where fire hazards are present.

'We stand proudly behind our decision to significantly reduce tobacco use at PCC,' said Preston Pulliams, college president. 'The creation of Good Neighbor zones, plus the increase in fines, should help us balance that policy with the goal of being responsive to those who live around our campuses.'

More information - and access to the college's smoking-cessation programs - can be found at .

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