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Local college smoking bans bring questions about campus policy

Smokers+are+allowed+to+light+up+in+designated+areas+around+the+Cosumnes+River+College+campus.+However%2C+recent+smoking+bans+at+other+local+colleges+have+some+asking+the+question+if+the+current+policy+should+change.
Smokers are allowed to light up in designated areas around the Cosumnes River College campus. However, recent smoking bans at other local colleges have some asking the question if the current policy should change.

Smokers are allowed to light up in designated areas around the Cosumnes River College campus. However, recent smoking bans at other local colleges have some asking the question if the current policy should change.

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

Smokers are allowed to light up in designated areas around the Cosumnes River College campus. However, recent smoking bans at other local colleges have some asking the question if the current policy should change.

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Surgeon general warning labels on cigarette packs may not be the only thing students on campus will need to worry about. Complete smoking bans are now becoming more  prevalent on college campuses around the nation.

University of California, Davis, and Sacramento State University are two local colleges that have recently enacted anti-smoking policies on their campuses, and recent changes in the smoking areas on campus bring to question if such a ban could come to Cosumnes River College.

Recently, new signs have appeared prohibiting smoking outside the library building which was once designated as a smoking area on campus.

The current smoking policy, which can be found on the college’s website in the student’s rights and responsibilities section of the college catalog, states that smoking is allowed in designated areas only and students should consult campus maps to find those areas.

“At this time, the college and the Los Rios District have no plans to ban smoking on our campuses,” said CRC Public Information Officer Kristie West via e-mail. “The main reason is access. We want to respect the rights of smokers and nonsmokers alike and that is why our board set the guidelines for designated smoking areas at this time.”

CRC students have mixed feelings regarding the current policy and the ban on other campuses that some believe should be brought to Cosumnes.

“I think it would be better [to ban smoking on campus], because other people who don’t smoke won’t get the secondhand smoke,” said Itzel Garcia, a 19-year-old criminal justice and psychology major. “Even in the areas where it is designated, sometimes when you pass by it, you still get the secondhand smoke, so I think it would be a good idea to implement a smoke-free campus.”

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Danielle Feist, a 22-year-old respiratory therapy major, said she believes the opposite.

“I think banning smoking completely is extreme,” she said. “For both sides to have equal rights the smokers should be able to smoke in the designated areas. Even workplaces allow smoke breaks and an area to have a cigarette.”

Neither student confirmed whether they were smokers or not, but even those who do not smoke themselves have an opinion on the topic.

“I don’t smoke, but I actually don’t mind [the smoke], to be honest,” said Aurora Rincon, a 19-year-old undeclared major. “I mean, people who smoke [are going to] smoke. I don’t really mind.”

It appears that CRC officials share her sentiment. As long as non-smokers have access to smoke-free areas and smokers have the ability to light up in designated areas, both parties are satisfied.

Smoking will not be banned on campus, but the current policies and guidelines are still in effect and will continue to be enforced.

“Of course, health and safety is all of our responsibilities,” West said. “So we are counting on our students and staff to remind others where those designated areas are at CRC.”

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Local college smoking bans bring questions about campus policy