Smoking may soon be prohibited

Smoking BanRecent survey finds
mixed opinions
about the proposal

By Tera ElwellWeb editor

Many who lead a hectic lifestyle turn to nicotine as a stress reliever. Del Mar College students may soon be denied this privilege.

On Feb. 6 the Student Government Association held a meeting in the Harvin Center where Professor Bob Long, then head of the Faculty Council, presented a Faculty Council resolution on a smoke-free campus. His resolution called for smoking areas, but the Faculty Council later voted against that plan and decided to propose a smoking ban with no smoking areas. The ban would prohibit the use of not only cigarettes but also e-cigs and chewing tobacco.

At the SGA meeting, several students stressed health reasons brought up by secondhand smoke as reasons they are for the policy.

“One student felt it extremely disgusting to sit next to or be in the same class as someone who chews tobacco as a reason they want this policy put in place,” according to the official minutes for the meeting.

According to the official Tobacco Free College Assessment survey sent to faculty, staff and students last spring by Institutional Research, 67 percent of faculty members strongly agreed or agreed that the college should prohibit all tobacco use anywhere on campus at all times. Nearly 63 percent of Del Mar College staff members said the same, while just 42 percent of students strongly agreed or agreed with the statement. 160 faculty members voted on the tobacco ban and 20.57 percent are for it. 20.82 percent of the college staff and 58.61 percent of the students are also for the ban.

The proposal must now be voted on by several groups at the college, which may happen this semester. If those groups support the ban, it would need final approval from the Board of Regents.

Some Del Mar College students would like to see designated smoking areas if a ban is approved.

“I think designated smoking areas would be good, as long as they have multiple areas,” said nursing major Aaron Suarez.

Savion DeLeon, a computer networking major, also agreed that designated smoking areas would be a good idea and added, “If they did a smoking ban without any designated areas, I don’t think that would work.”

Throughout Texas, multiple college and universities have enforced the smoke-free policies. For example, Austin Community College, Alamo Community College, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and the University of Texas Brownsville have adopted the tobacco free-policy.

Managing Editor Amber Quaid and reporter Sarah Fecht contributed to this article.

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