Recently The Board of Trustees approved a proposal by the Health and Safety Committee that will make Pasadena City College smoke-free beginning in January of next year.
And by smoke free, I mean completely smoke free.
Not only will smokers be losing their designated smoking areas, but the use of any type of smoking device will be banned. According to the new policy, prohibited products include cigarettes, cigars, pipes of all kinds, and smokeless devices including non-regulated nicotine products.
People caught disobeying will be fined $25 for the first violation, and it will increase for every violation after that.
Maybe for a lot of people, this means they can finally take a deep breath of reliefâ€” literally â€” but even a non-smoker like myself knows that’s not fair, especially when vapor and e-cigarettes wonâ€™t be allowed as a possible alternative.
Yes, smoking is a leading killer in America totaling over 440,000 deaths annually (including deaths from secondhand smoke),according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hell, I canâ€™t even stand the smell of smoke, but completely taking away someoneâ€™s right to smoke on campus, even in a designated area, is harsh.
In fact, feedback from over 2,000 students and faculty revealed that 72 percent just wanted [smoking] enforcement, according to Jo Buczko, coordinator of student health services and Health and Safety Committee member.
â€œI think the new changes are draconian,â€ David Nuno, history, said. â€œFor a lot of staff, faculty, and students, smoking is a way of relaxing and getting away from your problems and it bugs me how all these anti-smokers who are responsible for these recent changes are saying this kind of smoking as a behavior is wrong. This anti-smoking fad is just another prohibition in another form.â€
Think about it this way: what if there was a policy barring the use of cellular devices on campus? My phone keeps me content, and I enjoy using it daily. However, it can be too distracting, and it causes fatalities annually.
Iâ€™ve been shoulder-checked by distracted phone users who walk blindly across campus way more times than Iâ€™ve walked into clouds of cigarette smoke.
The college should just tighten its current policy, and fine those who disobey it instead of banning it altogether. As long as there are designated areas, and smokers abide by the current smoking policy, smoking should still be allowed on campus.