Campus, News

Smokers continue to find places to light up at CSULB

Although smoking was banned from Cal State Long Beach in 2016, you wouldn’t know that walking through the campus halls.

The Breathe Campaign was implemented at the university in 2013 in an effort to eliminate smoking on campus. In Fall 2016, the campaign officially banned tobacco and e-cigarettes from campus.

Despite this, students have found hidden areas on campus to light up.

A 24-year-old transfer student, who wished to remain anonymous, was found smoking near the dumpster area by the library and said he’s been “harrassed by the people in the green shirts.” He said even though there are claims that cigarettes harm the environment, what environmentalists should worry about are e-cigarettes, which are non-biodegradable.

According to the university tobacco and smoking policy, during the first three years of this adopted policy, violators will be given cessation and policy awareness cards.

Although the policy will not take effect until February 2019, smokers can still be ticketed at a University Police officer’s discretion.

The campus can treat these as violations against the California Education Code, said Claire Garrido-Ortega, a chair for The Breathe Campaign.

Other universities, such as Cal State Fullerton, have also adopted a ban on smoking. The campaign is backed by a complete task force of over 20 members. According to the policy, students on campus should not call 911 or University Police if they witness a person smoking.

One graduate student, who wished to stay anonymous to avoid repercussions, said he has been smoking since he was 14 years old and has continued the habit for the past 15 years.

“If I am on campus for eight hours, then I need to smoke to stay productive,“ he said. “There would also be less litter if there were designated smoke spots for smokers, and the university should have location limitations for where people can smoke.”

He said that although smoking areas would be ideal for some people, it may also seem like the university is encouraging smoking, so he understands why there are none on campus.

The student said he will still be attending the university when enforcement of the smoking ban takes effect in 2019 and will test his luck to see if he gets ticketed. Common spots smokers can be seen on campus are the engineering building on the lower lot of campus, outside the theater department and the loading area of the library.

The Breathe Campaign is a positive educational campaign to promote public awareness of the health risks of tobacco use and exposure to smoking, including vapor,” Garrido-Ortega said.

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