Smoking policy needs to be enforced

James Willoughby,

For some time now, many California State University, East Bay students have been breaking campus rules by smoking cigarettes in unpermitted areas. Unfortunately, campus authorities have yet to address the issue.

This is an important issue because death can arise from the toxins in cigarettes for both smokers and non-smokers.

Have you ever been disgusted by the smell of cigarette smoke? Have you ever encountered a smoker in an area in which he or she should not be smoking? I am a person that can say yes to both questions.

This issue has erupted because many non-smoking students, faculty and staff have begun to complain about the smoking in unpermitted areas. These unpermitted areas include in front of the University Union, the dorm areas and even in campus buildings. Students are supposed to keep a 20-foot distance between themselves and campus buildings when smoking.

Other California State Universities have taken action against similar issues including California State University, Fullerton, which was the first to do so.

The university became a smoke-free campus August 1, 2013, according to a press release from California State University, Fullerton. The smoke-free campus banned all tobacco products including cigarettes, e-cigarettes, pipes, and cigars.

Changes were made “in light of well-established health risks associated with exposure to secondhand smoke,” according to Directive 18 of CSUF’s University Smoking Policy.

In my opinion, East Bay should do the same. Why have campus authorities not recognized the danger that students have been exposed to? I believe East Bay’s administration has not addressed the issue because they might be afraid of student backlash. Students would be upset at the fact that their right to smoke would be taken away or affected.

I am a student, at California State University, East Bay. I have been affected by the pollution of secondhand smoke.

The pollution sets off my health issues such as asthma and allergies. After interviewing a CSUEB student, she states, “the smell of cigarettes, in unpermitted areas, is terrible. It makes students not want to even be around it.”

Therefore, it would be safer to help those that have been physically affected by the dangers of smoking rather than someone’s rights.

According to a study by the Tobacco Control Unit of the National Cancer Institute in Italy, cigarette smoke pollutes the air 10 times more than diesel car fuel. This statement shows proof of the dangers that students are being presented by cigarette smoke.

The above content relates to how East Bay is physically polluted by secondhand smoke. According to an interview in 2013 done by The Pioneer, CSUEB’s Associate Vice President of Student Affairs Stan Hebert said, “students collected bags and bags of cigarette butts in empty water containers in order to show the significant environmental impact of the cigarettes.”

At this point, campus authorities are only keeping the campus clean from the cigarette butts. However, there is still nothing being done about smoke smells and rule breaking done by smokers on campus.

It is the responsibility of the campus police and administration to address and find a solution to this issue. Students should not have to take it upon themselves to solve it.