Designated smoking areas should be created on campus

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Everyday as students and faculty walk across the El Camino College campus the smell of cigarette smoke fills the air by students smoking or vaping.

Typically there are students smoking by the Humanities Building past the stairwell or behind the Art Building near the Campus Deli.

It would be nice for students to be able to eat their lunches at the tables in front of the Campus Deli without having to deal with the smell of cigarette smoke.

ECC Police Department Chief Michael Trevis said that there are designated smoking areas on the sidewalks that run along Crenshaw and Manhattan Beach boulevards.

Trevis said that the campus police have contacted smokers and have been “requesting their volunteer compliance”.

However, this is not enough. The best way to solve this problem is to have designated smoking spots on campus

Smoking is not good by any means but people should have the right to make those kinds of decisions for themselves.

If ECC had a designated smoking areas on campus, campus police would be able to enforce the policy better by giving a designated space to direct students if they choose to smoke.

Students who wish to avoid people smoking could do so by avoiding the designated smoking areas.

El Camino College Board Policy 3570, which was passed by the Board of Trustees in February 2016, banned the use of “smokeless tobacco products and the use of unregulated nicotine products” on campus. According to the ECC website, this includes near buildings and all outside areas on campus.

Despite this, the policy is not enforced nor mandated by the state of California.

Assembly Bill 1594 would have helped to firmly enforce this into law statewide but it was ultimately vetoed by former Governor Jerry Brown, according to the Sacramento Bee.

The bill would have prohibited the use of all tobacco products on all California Community Colleges and California State Universities, according to leginfo.ca.gov.

Our current campus policy was passed the same year.

Los Angeles Valley College, Los Angeles Trade Tech College, Los Angeles Mission College, and West Los Angeles College all currently have designated smoking areas according to C.A. Tobacco Free Colleges.

Los Angeles Valley College has had four designated smoking areas since Spring 2013 according to the Los Angeles Valley College 2018-2019 General Catalog.

Since smoking on college campuses has not been banned at the state level for California Community Colleges, ECC should have designated smoking areas on campus.

The legal age to buy tobacco products is 21, according to The California Department of Public Health.

The majority of students on campus are considered legal adults by law and should be able to smoke if they choose to do so.

The ECC Fact book states 20-24 age bracket accounts for 39% of the total campus population.

Students who do not smoke should not have to deal with the terrible smell of cigarette smoke from others smoking on campus. It may also help students with health issues including asthma.

This would be a win-win solution for everyone because it provides a separate space for those who smoke and creates a cleaner campus environment for students and faculty alike who don’t.

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