The Chaparral

Under the yellow umbrella

BY MYRON PENWELL                                                 

OPINION EDITOR

One of the designated smoking spots on campus. (Photo courtesy of Alex Meza-Aguilar)

College of the Desert has recently proposed a ban which prohibits the smoking of cigarettes on campus. AP 3570, which states that smoking is 25 feet from any college entrances or windows, all eating areas and any seating areas of any athletic facilities owned, operated or leased by the district.

The enforcement of this policy relies on the compliance of smoker and non-smokers with this new regulation. With the vice president for business affairs delegated to facilitate these new regulations.

Banning smoking on college campuses has been a trend that has been gaining popularity around the United States. As of Jan. 2, 2017, the number of smoke free campuses has grown as well.

Among these, 1,468 are also 100 percent tobacco-free, 1,331 prohibit e-cigs, and 109 also prohibit marijuana. The number has risen from 586 campuses that have banned smoking back in October 2011 and 446 campuses in October 2010. The reason for such policies are to promote campus health and well-being. (Americans for Nonsmokers Rights)

Although there has been a large shift in school policies that prohibit smoking around the campus, not many of the students have been following it, and little has been done to reprimand anyone in violation of this new rule. While on the side of the supporters of banning smoking on campus is understandable, there should be more accommodation to the other side of this issue to encourage compliance with the restrictions on smoking. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), about 13 out of every 100 people from the ages of 18-24 smoke. Smokers may not be the majority, but represent a large portion of our student body.

One of the first issues to be considered, would be to realize that not many of the smokers would be aware of the recent smoking restrictions that have been instated. The other thing that could be done would be to build more smoking sections around that campus and have them more conveniently located around the campus, when you’re rushing from class to class, you often do not have to time to search for these smoking sections, which can be hard to find and out-of-the-way. Also, these things always are going to take time for people to adjust to, considering the how long COD has been around and the recent establishment of this rule.

It was the Associated Students of the College of the Desert (ASCOD) that voted to instate this new rule, so if you are opposed to this new rule or have any suggestions to help with the change, the Student Government and the Green Council would like to hear from the students on campus, smokers and non-smokers. ASCOD meets every Monday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and is open to the public. The Green Council meets the second Tuesday of every month and is also open to the public.

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