Long Beach State is now in the third year of the Breathe campaign, and as there are new and growing concerns about vaping, students still have continued to smoke and vape. Prohibition has never worked, and it never will.
Alcohol is also an unhealthy, tightly controlled substance, and it is available on-campus. There are only two places on campus that students can regularly drink alcohol, The Nugget Grill & Pub, and The Outpost Grill. Why can’t this same policy be used for smokers?
Designated smoking areas would give students who still choose to vape or smoke a safe place away from other people that don’t want to be around secondhand smoke.
Vilifying students for vaping should not happen because they are doing something that primarily only affects themselves on public land that is funded by their taxes and tuition.
Right now, people that want to smoke mostly try to find less populated areas. The dumpsters and narrow hallways between buildings have become a haven for the people who need to step aside to smoke.
They use these areas as a way of hiding from the prying eyes of the green-shirted patrols with their cessation literature.
Per university policy, the school can now start issuing “fines and infractions” to students that continue to violate the policy.
CSULB students looking for a way to relax do have services provided for them. Programs like yoga classes, gym access, meal prep classes and wellness amenities are made available, but do not appeal to every student.
Students pay for the programs through their tuition, but they are not forced to use them. Meanwhile, wanting to do something for your mental wellness that is deemed unhealthy can result in a fine.
Students spend several consecutive hours on campus, and nicotine is an addiction. It is unreasonable to expect addicted people to not smoke all day.
I am not here to argue that people should keep smoking or that the university shouldn’t do anything about it. It is unreasonable to think that people will stop an addictive habit that they have likely developed over several years.
The university shouldn’t implement a policy that keeps stressed students from something that actually allows them to relax between classes and work.