The Health and Safety committee is working toward a proposal to have the college become a smoke free campus.

The Health and Safety committee is working toward a proposal to have the college become a smoke free campus.

Antonio Gandara / Courier. The “NE Corner of Parking Lot 1” is one of the 4 designated smoking areas available for staff and students in the 53-acre campus.
Antonio Gandara / Courier.
The “NE Corner of Parking Lot 1” is one of the 4 designated smoking areas available for staff and students in the 53-acre campus.

According to Jo Ann Buczko, coordinator of student health services and Health and Safety Committee member, the Board of Trustees has asked the committee to review the current smoking policy.

“We’ve been asked by the Board to look at the current smoking policy and make recommendations,” said Buczko.

Buczko says the committee is leaning toward recommending the campus become smoke free because of the ineffectiveness of the current smoking policy.

“We’ve tried designated areas and it’s not happening. What we are looking at now is, do we want to become a smoke free campus?” said Buczko.

She also feels, though, that with any policy, enforcement is what plays a major role in its effectiveness. “I think no matter what policy you have the true issue is enforcement,” said Buczko.

Juan Diego Ashton, Associated Students vice president for sustainability and Health and Safety committee member, also spoke about the ineffectiveness of the current smoking policy.

“My experience [is that getting] compliance with that policy hasn’t been successful. I think anyone you talk to that understands it knows that it’s not working,” said Ashton.

He also spoke of the dangers of second-hand smoke to others.

“I see it as a public health issue when students smoke in passage ways. I’m worried [about] the majority [of] students dealing with second-hand smoke exposure, especially when students smoke together,” said Ashton.

Simon Fraser, AS president, voiced the AS Board’s position on the potential new smoking policy as being one that represents the students.

“As the AS president, I stand for what the students want. I can’t make a decision without hearing from students,” said Fraser.

Others on campus expressed their concerns about a smoke-free campus.

Kevin Orellana, English, said smokers would encounter inconvenience with a smoke free campus.

“I think it’s a bad idea because some people can’t quit smoking just like that and it’s going to be a hassle to get off campus to smoke,” he said.

Chris Sanchez, criminal justice, supports a new smoking policy and is annoyed with second hand smoke.

“I’m for it. It’s irritating and gives me headaches,” said Sanchez.

Donovan Acosta, nutrition, doesn’t mind the second hand smoke but understands other people’s concern with it.

“Personally, smoking doesn’t bother me but I can understand how it would bother other people. It would be more convenient for others though who don’t smoke,” said Acosta.

Comments

  1. In response to the February 6th article in the PCC Courier I would like to express a few thoughts.

    Few if anyone is affected by second hand smoke outdoors in the open. Car pollution along the road or in the parking lot is far worse.

    The State of CA in its wisdom has decided 20 feet from an opening is sufficient. Why not simply follow the state law? Surely there are more important things to worry about.

    I have never seen someone smoking in the corridors but if they do give them a ticket, it’s against the State law, i.e. less than 20 feet.

    Designated smoking areas are a joke, yet approximately 20% of the students at PCC smoke (Gallop). Why not offer smokers 2-3 reasonable locations, ones that are conveniently and legally located on campus versus being far away in the parking lot; smoking areas that are comfortable and protected from the sun and the elements? Perhaps then smokers might remain in the designated smoking area?

    In conclusion, smoking is legal. It’s not a crime. Why treat smokers as second class citizens or criminals merely because it’s politically correct? If health matters, look around, a greater health concern on campus is obesity, a very serious problem among young and old on campus. Perhaps PCC should ban obese students and staff?

    1. First, health concerns are not limited to smoking that is correct but to say that obesity or any other health concern is MORE severe is completely insignificant. Proposing a smoke free campus is simply a step to solving or at least heading in the right direction to improving the many health concerns in our community whether it is on campus or in our city.
      Note: Pasadena City banned smoking in multi-family buildings such apartments. You can read more on this if you’d like. The reason why I am mentioning this is to show that taking away a persons right to smoke has nothing to do with the individuals right it is about the people being affected by second hand smoke.
      Second, to say that “few if anyone” is affected by second hand smoke is to ignore the real number of people harmed from second hand smoke. Yes, there are many factors that ALSO assist in causing cancer or respiratory problems, for example, but as members of this community we must participate in reducing our exposure to harmful substances. And who knows maybe some of us might taken on demanding healthy food choices on campus. And finally, designated smoking areas are a joke because students do not use them. We seriously need for campus police to job on board and start citing students for not following a policy that was legally approved.

      I completely support this initiative by our student representatives. Thank you!

      1. Pardon my mistakes.
        *Note: Pasadena City banned smoking in multi-family buildings such as apartments.
        *And who knows maybe some of us might take on demanding healthy food choices on campus. And finally, designated smoking areas are a joke because students do not use them. We need campus police to jump on board and start citing students for not following a policy that was legally approved.

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