Non-Enforcement Renders Policy Useless

Marlon Miranda

The smoking policy for GCC was revised three times since it’s adoption in 1988 but nothing has changed; smokers are running rampant and no one is enforcing the policy 23 years later.

According to the Glendale Community College District Smoking Policy, smoking is not permitted in any building on campus, in college owned or leased facilities, or in college-owned vehicles. The policy states that “Smoking shall be permitted in designated smoking areas only.”

Interestingly enough, all the smoke clouds around campus have been forming everywhere but in the seven designated areas. One can attribute the empty designated areas to the lack of signs or police cadets informing smokers where to go when they are in need of a nicotine fix.

Nursing student Ashley Jackson, 21, feels that it isn’t fair that she has to smell smoke around every building.

“There is nothing worse than when you get your lunch and right when you’re about to eat, you get people next to you smoking and it ruins your meal. The smokers should at the very least respect the fact that not everybody wants to smell their cigarettes all the time – some for personal reasons and some for medical reasons,” said Jackson.

Students are angry. They cannot avoid getting ill from second- hand smoke. Why should non- smoking students be penalized by those enjoying the pleasure of a cigarette?

Why is nothing being done? Why are there multiple smokers in front of buildings while campus police walk by them without even threatening a citation? If there is a policy that no one follows and no one enforces, does that policy really even exist?

Public Relations Coordinator Wendy Grove knows that it’s all a process and certain things need to be done before changes are seen.

“There is still an ongoing committee discussion. It has to go through the process, and they will figure out how the signs will be paid for,” said Grove.

If discussions need to be made and funds need to be found, the chances of getting signs up anytime soon are bleak at best.

There has been no noticeable decrease in smoking and campus security shows little to no interest in enforcing the policy. The administration may be giving students some time to adjust to the new policy, or perhaps there is a higher priority that outranks teaching students about where they should smoke.

Angela Sandoval, 19, science major, has been smoking for three years, and said she feels that all this hoopla is for naught.

“Students can’t find classes, schools are lacking funds, [so] why waste money on signs now? Spend money on opening more sections, adding classes,” said Sandoval.

While designated smoking areas may feel like a prison and make smokers feel like wrong-doers, they should take some responsibility. Students should act like adults and respect the health of others.

According to the US Surgeon General’s Report, second hand smoke contains more than 50 known carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) and causes lung cancer and heart disease in non-smoking adults.

Evidence indicates that there is a 25 to 30 percent increase in the risk of coronary heart disease from exposure to second-hand smoke.

When did attending college become a health risk? The smoking policy at GCC has to become more than just a link on our school’s website.

Are Vaqueros enrolling in school to get a degree or to develop lung cancer?