Editorial: Delta’s issue with smokers

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As if construction wasn’t enough to cloud our vicinity with dust balls and ear wrenching sounds, smokers on campus have unofficially expanded their territory.

Have you ever passed behind Shima and found yourself holding your breath? Have you entered the Cunningham drop off circle, near the daycare center, and had the ventilation in your vehicle filled with polluted air? These are two problem areas on campus where people enjoy lighting up.

It’s an everyday occurrence to see large crowds of faculty, students and even non-students congregated between the Shima parking lot and the backside of the building.

This poses a problem.

According to state law, no smoking is allowed within 20 feet of any entrance. At Delta, the rules are more specific with smoking mostly only permitted in parking lots.

There are many, though, who have become comfortable smoking wherever they please.

What are the consequences to breaking these rules?

According to campus police, the area behind Shima was an actual designated smoking area created as a courtesy to smokers in 2001.

This area expanded as the location became a popular hangout. Therefore the consequences have been a mere slap on the wrist.

But these well-known smoking areas pose a threat to the safety of students.

People with health problems, such as asthma, are especially affected. Not only is this problem a threat to students, it now becomes hazardous to their offspring.

The Cunningham circle is also a popular area for smokers. This means day care children are exposed to smoke secondhand.

Students have had harsh consequences when it comes to rude behavior, but it seems as if the smoking matter has not been taken serious enough.

Are we going to wait for students to smoke inside classrooms for this to be addressed?

Smokers on campus need harsher consequences. Yes, complaints have been filed. But more action needs to follow.

We understand campus police are pursuing a smoke-free campus for 2011.

We think this is a solid resolution to help us breathe clean air once again.