Should there be a place for smoking?

Light blue signs across campus are a reminder that this is a smoke and tobacco free campus.

Chancellor Timothy White issued Executive Order 1108, implementing a “Smoke and Tobacco Free” policy, Sept. 1, 2017, which prohibits any use of cigarettes, cigars, pipes, electronic smoking devices, tobacco products, chew tobacco, tobacco accessories, vaporizing liquids or any other tobacco utilization device. The goal is to provide students, staff, faculty, guests and the public with campuses that foster a safe environment.

(Valerie Mancia | The Poly Post)

Many cigarette butts can be found surrounding the CPP English Language Institute.

Non-smoking signage is prevalent in those areas, yet students continue to smoke.

According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey in China in 2010, nearly one-third of the population smokes and more than half of smokers aged 20 to 34 years started smoking daily before the age of 20.

According to the BBC, in China, a cigarette is a peace offering or often a cue to start a conversation. Smoking is inherent to Chinese culture.

“In class, when I’m speaking, sometimes the students give me weird eyes like I don’t understand,” said, international accounting student Camellia Se.

“Our cultures are very different, and different languages are the problem, but people who smoke can be friends and practice speaking with each other.”

According to Chancellor White, task forces were created to monitor the policy implementation and enforcement.

“We have repeat offenders, but there’s not much we can do outside of giving them a warning and Bronco ID checking to make sure they belong here,” said, Environmental Health and Safety Institutional Risk Manager Michael DeSalvio.

“We’re taking a nonconfrontational, wellness approach until we can clearly devise a way to respond to smoke complaints.”

Ashtray removal has indirectly polluted walkways with butts.

Students found a way to locate two remaining ashtrays, one placed behind Building 24 and the other on the north side of the library.

The library ashtray has been removed, but the astray behind Building 24 remains.

The main concern is when walkways are trekked by children.

Children receive mixed reviews when seeing cigarette butts next to Executive Order 1108 related signage.

“A smoke-free campus means that when I drop my son off at the children’s center I know he won’t be breathing in any harmful secondhand smoke,” said English language learner teacher, Adriana Meza.

Environmental Health and Safety and Student Health Services and Counseling provide solutions, but with a widely dispersed smoking population the policy has had little effect.

“Students should have a place to smoke, routinely monitored for safety and away from non-smokers,” Meza said. “It’s a personal choice to smoke, so if someone is found smoking in a smoke-free zone when there is a designated smoking area in place, then there should be penalties.”

DSAs promote a community support system and cultural integration. If counselors helped monitor the DSA, mental health issues would be tackled head-on.

The health risks associated with second-hand smoke are enough reason to protect campus goers from harmful carcinogens.

According to Southern California Public Radio, “Nearly 20 percent of Americans still smoke, in spite of what we know about the dangers.”

Those dangers include respiratory diseases, mental illness and cancer, but people still smoke. Some students want to quit, but don’t have the assistance or desire to seek information.

“For some people it takes at least seven tries to quit smoking,” DeSalvio said.

Until smokers put their cigarettes down, it’s important to offer support without directly forcing them to conform.

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