Give power to the smoking ban!


Illustration by Eugene Chang

Last semester, the El Camino College board of trustees voted to ban smoking on campus, however people continue to smoke regularly and there needs to be a stronger push to curb smoking.

According to Board policy 3570, El Camino college prohibits the use of “cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, snuff, snus, water pipes, pipes, hookahs, chew and any other non-combustible tobacco product” on campus.

This rule currently lacks proper enforcement, as the El Camino College police department has taken a light approach to the rule.

If there is to be a smoke-free environment on campus like the policy calls for, then the smoking ban must be added to the penal code.

As of now it is an educational ban that only advises students not to smoke, rather than a law that invites punishment.

ECPD police chief Michael Trevis said in an email that officers are taking an approach to “warn and seek voluntary compliance” rather than cite students on the spot.

If students are being ticketed for things like skateboarding, then they definitely need to be cited for smoking, which already is an offense in other public places.

According to the student code of conduct, only “Willful or persistent smoking in any area where smoking has been prohibited” is an offense.

Secondhand smoke is associated with negative health effects, and students shouldn’t be exposed to smoke when going to class.

“Smoke Free” Signs are posted all around campus, but signs are everywhere at El Camino and students might not even notice them amongst all the other posters.

Students are busy people, you need to throw something in our face if you really want us to listen.

The concept of a citation would do a lot to hinder smoking, and students would have a viable reason to not smoke on campus. The current educational ban has proven to be too soft in reducing campus smokers.

If the police started ticketing smokers on the spot, then awareness would spread across campus and El Camino students could get behind the ban as well.

There are people who like to smoke and they shouldn’t be looked down upon, but it needs to be clear that El Camino College is a public place like any other, and smoking is not welcome in or around the classroom.