The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

OPPOSING VIEWS | Smoking on campus

Blow it out your butt

Nicole Cardoza | Editor In Chief
[email protected]

Are you a mouth breather? Loud talker? Do you guffaw instead of laugh or do that horrible snorting thing? Don’t worry, just keep staring straight ahead and no one will know. But be warned, they are coming for you next.

“They” are that small group of do gooders who want to outlaw things that are bad for you or just annoying to others. After they get through with smoking, caffeine will be next, followed by that yummy fat used to deep fry things – like potatoes, chicken and Twinkies.

Recently, political science professor Paul Frank began floating a proposal around campus to representative groups like ASG and faculty members to prohibit smoking on campus. None of the groups could reach a consensus on the issue, according to City College Public Information Officer Amanda Hamilton.

“I don’t like cigarette smoke, but people need to smoke somewhere,” says City College student Chris Hedberg. “If they are smoking outside, it is easy to avoid the smoke if it really bothers you.”

In response to the proposal the ASG and the Campus Safety Committee are working toward better enforcement of the existing campus policy that bans smoking within 30 feet of all building entrances.

“Rules and regulations are great, but you have to think about who is going to enforce them and what the penalties will be, otherwise they don’t mean anything,” says Sgt. Brian Washington of the Los Rios Police.

According to Washington, City College has the right to legislate student behavior on campus, as long as it is cleared with the district.

But should a well-meaning group of activists get to decide where your own personal decision making responsibility ends?

“It’s like trying to legislate yelling or hacky-sack, it is undesirable to some people, but not to everyone,” Hedberg says.

For many years legislation has been narrowing the number of places where smokers can actually smoke, yet cigarettes remain legal and as available as ever. Even with all the information we now have on the adverse effects of tobacco smoke on our health, intelligent, educated and informed individuals continue to consciously choose to smoke on a daily basis.

If I want to ride my motorcycle without a seatbelt or helmet, while talking on my cell phone and smoking a cigarette, shouldn’t I be allowed to decide whether or not it is safe?
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Time to pack it up

Peter Crosta | Special Features Editor
[email protected]

When it comes to smoking on campus, you will find yourself in one of three groups: the smokers, those politely putting up with your friends’ cigarettes, or those struggling to breathe because a nearby cigarette has inflamed your asthma.

Luckily, I belong to the second group, but I have friends in the other two categories. In the end we have to choose to indulge one or the other. So which is it, the smoker’s addiction or the asthmatic’s health?

According to Amanda Hamilton, the public information officer for City College, smoking is not allowed within 30 feet of any doorway on Campus — that’s 10 feet farther than the state minimum.

Designated smoking areas would be the next step toward curbing smoking at City College..

[Smoking] is really rude,” says Kate Williams, an asthmatic and Humboldt State University student. “We have designated smoking spots here, but no one follows them.”

Smoking affects more than just people with respiratory problems. Someone has to clean up after them.

“[Ash trays] are great if everyone uses them,” says Michael Castelle, City College Custodial and Receiving supervisor. Unfortunately, according to Castelle, people don’t always use them; they throw their cigarette butts into flower beds and on the ground, creating more work for his crew.

It is unusual that many people don’t seem to think that a cigarette butt counts as garbage. It does.

It is not reasonable to expect the custodial staff to stop and pick up cigarette butts that have found their way between concrete slabs, but the alternative is a build up of garbage.

“Studies are controversial, saying [cigarette butts] take anywhere from one to 15 years to biodegrade. However, the filters, like many acetates/plastics, may never actually biodegrade fully,” says Gretchen Engbring, the chancellor’s Undergraduate Internship Program Sustainability Office intern at University of California, Santa Cruz.

We can’t outlaw public health issues, but smoking affects other people. It would not be an issue on campus if smokers gave others reasonable courtesy, but they don’t. Smoking on campus leads to more work for our custodians and more wheezing for our asthmatics. It should not be allowed.

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