College Council plan to ban smoking on campus ignites


Amira Grace

Vanessa Winstead, 49, health major, takes a break to smoke between her classes. Winstead is one of many at EC who will be affected if the proposed smoking ban goes into place. Photo credit: Amira Petrus

Students could soon call EC a smoke-free college, as College Council has decided to move forward with the “full restriction” of smoking on campus, Christina Gold, former Academic Senate president, said in an email.

At a board of trustee meeting this year, e-cigarettes and other forms of tobacco use were added to the plan, Gold said.

“If they want to make the change (to ban smoking), I’m all for it,” Vanessa Winstead, 49, health major, said. “It will make me stop.”

Years ago, College Council began discussions about the smoking policy, she said. Faculty, staff, and students were surveyed.

“Given the results of that survey, College Council decided to move forward with restricting smoking to designated spots on campus,” Gold said.

But, due to the high cost of the construction of the designated areas and the difficulty of finding places on campus that could become those areas, the plan never happened.

The only smoking restriction at EC now is one in accordance with state law, not one the college has put forth itself, Gold said.

Of five select colleges in Los Angeles County, all but one has designated smoking areas on campus. Cerritos College is the only college with no designated areas that responded.

Most designated areas at other colleges are on the sides of campus and in parking lots. The state law is that smokers cannot be “within 20 feet of a main exit, entrance, or operable window of a public building,” according to the bill. This is the regulation at EC that could soon change.

Adding that several community colleges and universities have banned smoking on their campuses, Gold said “a significant amount of thought and consideration has been given to the issue by faculty, student and staff leaders.”