Designated smoking on campus to improve student health

By: Michelle Mercado

Students who are caught smoking outside the designated area should be cited to enforce the seriousness of this issue and the safety of East Los Angeles College students.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says secondhand smoke from a cigarette is a serious health hazard that causes more than 41,000 deaths per year.

Many public places like the Los Angeles International Airport, Disneyland and college campuses offer designated smoking areas for those in need of a cigarette.

A designated smoking area is something that ELAC needs to provide on campus because, let’s face it, the non-smoking rule at ELAC is basically nonexistent.

Toxic nicotine fumes can be found in the parking lot, around the benches and even on campus staircases.

Students who smoke at ELAC are putting other students at risk with the toxic fumes.

According to the American Lung Association, “There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke, and even short-term exposure potentially can increase the risk of heart attacks.”

In other words, when students walk to class and pass by someone smoking, they are being exposed to something extremely life threatening.

The American Cancer Association says, “Secondhand smoke is known to cause cancer. It has more than 7,000 chemicals, including at least 70 that can cause cancer.”

This life-threatening toxin is so harmful, and yet no one is doing anything about it.

UNHEALTHY LIFESTYLE—Cigarette butts are seen scattered on the floor of a nondesignated
smoking area in the E3 building of the third floor. Every year, second hand smoke
causes 41,000 deaths in the United States. C/N Gabriela Reveles

Supposedly, this is a smoke-fres everywhere.

The Sheriffs on campus are dealing with the non-smoking rule lightly.

Students ignored the previous designated smoking area, smoke

everywhere and the Sheriffs did nothing to keep smokers in the designated area.

Sheriffs give warnings and administrators, tell students to put out their cigarette. What good does that do when the smoke of that cigarette reaches the lungs of an innocent bystandard?

At that point, the damage has already been done.

Many mothers bring their children to campus and expose their children to the dangers of second-hand smoke.

The CDC says, “Wheezing and coughing are more common in children who breathe secondhand smoke.”

Since there is no safe amount of smoke that can be inhaled, students’ health will continue to be at risk when they pass by someone who is smoking on campus. 

Secondhand smoke greatly affects expectant mothers.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, “Some of the health conditions associated with being exposed to secondhand smoke are miscarriage, low-birth weight, early birth, learning or behavioral deficiencies in your child, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).”

If ELAC is not going to enforce the non-smoking regulation, then it should provide a designated area for students to smoke.

By providing this area, people will be able to avoid the secondhand smoke.

Although this will not eliminate the toxic smoke, it does contain it to a small section on campus.

This designated smoking area can really help lower the health risks associated with secondhand smoke.

The area also gives students a place to smoke and not be cited.

This article has 1 Comment

  1. Great story, and as a former smoker, cigarettes stink. I don’t know if you know this, but cigarettes are a legal substance. It’s regulated and has warnings, and many places, smoking is not allowed25 feet where there is a working door or window. Restricting cigarette smoking was not based on health but a labor issue. (https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=LAB&sectionNum=6404.5.) Still, under the 10th Amendment, cities and counties can make smoking policies stricter.

    As a former smoker, cigarette smoking does stink, yet if people still want to smoke, as you wrote, a designated spot is OK.

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