School Should Do More to Discourage Smoking

Dear Editor:

As I am sure many of your readers will notice, Glendale Community College has a smoking problem.

I was surprised after reading “Health Center Gives More Than Free Condoms” (Nov. 18) that there was no mention of the information or help available for this problem. It is great to know the wide array of services the health center offers: from over the counter medications, to flu shots, to vision, hearing, TB and HIV testing to contraception and STD information.

It would have been great to let your readers know that the center also has information on the health risks of smoking (and second-hand smoke), I believe, from the American Cancer Society, given the gravity of the situation.

I guess it is only a reflection of the general attitude towards smoking in our school. At least that’s the impression I have gotten so far, returning to school after many years of absence.
I am really amazed by the amount of smoking that takes place here at GCC. What is even more appalling is the laid-back attitude with which it is looked at.

I have yet to see one flyer pinned up on a billboard or anywhere on campus about smoking or help in quitting. What minimal information the health center has should be put out there, regardless of what knowledge about the risks of smoking there already is. Apparently it is not enough.

Yes, I have seen the no smoking 20 feet away from building entrance signs, and I have also seen the ashtrays and sitting areas 9 to 10 feet away from said building entrances. It is a shame to have such a beautiful campus (it really is), with such hazardous air.
I only have to step out of my car and walk a few feet before I get my first lung full of smoke. Whether I choose to or not, I have become a smoker.

My intention is not to control or ban smoking in school, because everyone has the right to make their own choices, but it is my intention to send an SOS to our school community.

We need more information, awareness and enforcement on smoking in our campus, so that the choices our students make are well informed.

Since you, El Vaquero, have our community at your reach, use your voice to get the word out — smoking is a problem that needs our attention now.

Thank you for your attention,

— Oneida Romo