By Freddy Monares
A demonstration was held in order to raise awareness among students and rally to make ELAC a smoke-free campus, like Santa Monica College. Students from the respiratory therapy program demonstrated the difference between a healthy set of lungs and an unhealthy set of lungs with a sheep lung and a pig lung Wednesday and Thursday between the E-3 and E-5 buildings.
Surveys were being given at the demonstration to get a census of how many students want ELAC to be a smoke-free campus. Richard Garay of the respiratory therapy program said, “Students take a survey then throw whatever cigarettes they have on them into a trash can for a raffle ticket good for $70 at Best Buy.”
The group of respiratory therapy students plan to present the Associated Student Union with all the surveys in order to bring awareness as to how many people are concerned with the issue of smoking on campus. “It’s a wonderful tool to get out the idea about one’s health,” Deanna Deacon, observer and student, said.
Member David Wu of the respiratory therapy program explains that he feels it is necessary to prevent smoking among young people before it is too late. “The younger you are the more likely it is you will smoke. The more damage you do to your lungs,” Wu said.
Although the main goal of project “Kick Butts” is to try and make ELAC a smoke-free campus, the volunteers felt it important and necessary to inform students on the risks of smoking a cigarette. “Our goal is to raise awareness and consciousness as to health complications that arise from smoking,” Elan Jose Reyes said.
Reyes explained that he too was a smoker and was not fully aware of all the risks when inhaling a puff of cigarette smoke. He says that now he realizes that he should not have done that. Although a great deal of information on the effects of smoking was presented to students, some were still not persuaded.
“It’s great because it lets people know the effects, but it’s not going to stop me,” Elan Deysi Lozano said. Lozano explained that she has not seen any symptoms yet. Therefore she does not feel it necessary to quit. She says she was not aware of some of the complications and she is going to try to not smoke as much. The volunteers also handed out pamphlets on alternatives to quitting completely, as they know it is hard to go “cold turkey.”