A new smoking policy went into effect on July 13 at Glendale Community College, making it a violation of district policy to smoke in any area not officially designated as a smoking area. The decision, according to the board of trustees, aims to maintain a learning and working environment that contributes to the health and safety of the students and employees of the district.
The district will only allow smoking in certain posted areas due to the health hazards that secondhand smoke brings.
Research has shown that non-smokers who inhale secondhand smoke breathe in the nicotine and toxic chemicals
just like smokers do.
GCC Police Department Captain Nidal Kobaissi said, “As mandated by state law, the signs requiring people to smoke at least 20 feet away from building entrances, will remain posted, but smokers within those areas will be requested to move to a designated smoking area acting upon the new district policy.”
The new policy applies to everyone attending, working at, or visiting GCC. It also applies to all owned or leased Glendale College facilities as well as all owned or leased district vehicles.
A map posted on the main page of the college website, which is also available in the police department, at selected information booths and other areas on campus, shows the approximately 14 designated smoking areas around campus,.Most of them are in Lot A, B, F, G, and I, and in other areas away from classrooms.
With the new policy in place, ashtrays found outside of the newly designated smoking areas will be removed and Non-Smoking Area signs will also be taken down to further enforce the new policy. Throughout the following weeks students should expect to see more follow-up information on the new policy, such as various advertisements. This information is designed to introduce people to the new policy and to encourage them to follow its regulations.
A policy like this is bound to have its pros and cons, and student John Milikyn said, “This isn’t good for smokers like me because if I want to get out of class to smoke or go on my break and smoke I have to move really far away from the class to smoke.”
Another student, Yeznik Koghbaci, agreed by saying: “The designated areas in the map are far away from classes, even more than the 20 feet distance posted on the doors, and I can’t take five minutes to smoke because I need to find a designated area.”
Even with signs posted around campus saying that no smoking was allowed within 20 feet of the doors, many students feel that few smokers have shown any respect for the signs.
The board of trustees authorized the college police to begin issuing warnings and citations, resulting in a possible fine of $35 as mentioned by GCC Police Captain Kobaissi. To further enforce the policy, additional sanctions may be given through the Student Code of Conduct of Administrative Regulations as shown in campus policies and procedures. Also, the college district and its affiliated organizations will not be selling tobacco.
Although the new policy may not be to the liking of some students, many see it as a benefit for smokers because there will be signs posted designating areas where they will still be able to smoke. The non-smokers will also benefit by having smoke-free areas available to them when they get out of their classrooms.