Battle for breathing room

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Pro

Delta College’s Board of Trustees recently passed an ordinance that strengthens the no-smoking policy on campus.

According to the Delta College Police website, AP/BP 3570 is a new law instituting the campus as no-smoking zone, including popular light up spots in campus parking lots.Online-debate

As of July 14, water pipes and electronic cigarettes will not be allowed as well.

“Smoking” means engaging in an act that generates smoke and/or vapors, such as possessing a lighted pipe; a lighted hookah pipe; operating an electronic cigarette; a lighted cigar; a lighted cigarette of any kind; or lighting or igniting a pipe, a hookah pipe, a cigar, or a cigarette of any kind,” according to the ordinance.

I agree with the Board of Trustees’ decision to extend to law so that smoking on campus is banned completely, whether it’s near buildings or a parking lot.

The plume of smoke non-smoking students and staff travel through from the bus stop in Shima 1 parking lot makes my breathing a bit labored and hurts my chest.

I understand that the smokers have created a small area to smoke in, but the smoke still moves towards the bus shelter and path of travel to the campus.

I’m also hearing the argument of allowing ashtrays on campus from both Delta College staff and students. But let me take you to a time when I previously attended the college back from 2002 to 2006.

That’s back when there were designated smoking areas on campus.

People wouldn’t just smoke at said areas.

This included sitting in front of the fresh air intake towers, which have clear no-smoking signs attached.

Staff and students would smoke in front of the towers.

Many times I would see students smoking in the quad.

It bothered me that people just didn’t care about the health of others.

Smoking near the fresh air in-take towers was allowing smoke to enter the buildings’ ventilation systems, compromising air circulation.

The Delta College Police were lenient and gave staff and students a plethora of chances to use the designated smoking areas, trying to keep peace.

Due to the thoughtlessness of a few people, the campus officials have taken a firm stand on smoking on campus.

The latest question I heard from the smokers in Shima 1 parking lot: “What about the disabled smokers. Where are they going to smoke?”

They will have to follow the same rules.

They will have to travel off campus.

I can say that I am looking forward to July 14, when the law goes into full effect.

For once it will be peace on my asthma. I won’t have to hold my breath to avoid cigarette smoke while walking from the bus.

It will also bring beauty back to the campus: no more cigarette butts scattered all over the campus shrubbery and trees. Nor will there be butts on the asphalt.

Smokers will be fuming but the new law will bring a breath of fresh air to the Delta College campus — literally.

Con

Does smoking cause over 400,000 deaths per year? Yes.

Do smokers die significantly earlier than non-smokers? Yes.

Do I smoke? No.

But do all those facts give me or anyone else the right to tell someone not to smoke — absolutely not.

This is essentially what this ban does.
Being a pregnant woman, one would think that I would be totally for this ban. I am, however, totally against it.

The majority of Delta’s smokers convene in a small area of the campus.  Should I wish to avoid the smoke, I can simply walk around the area in question.

These smokers are not within 20 feet of a working window or door of the campus, and there are plenty of other places for non-smoking students to walk through to avoid the smoke and smell.

Just because you do not like the smell of something, does not mean you have the right to ban it.

Stockton and Lodi residents drive by dairy farms every day, and  do not like the smells from those, but does that necessarily mean they need to be banned from where they are?  No!

Because of this new ordinance, non-smokers would be required to walk all the way off campus, past the parking lots, to the sidewalk in order to have a smoke.

For some students, there simply isn’t enough time to achieve this and enjoy their cigarette break between some classes.

This ban even includes e-cigarettes!

The e-cigarettes produce no toxic chemicals, and leave behind no butt!

They are the least harmful cigarette in existence, and no one should be complaining about them.

The only person who is affected by the e-cigarettes is the person smoking them, unless the school is attempting to encourage, (or force) people to quit by passing this rule.

In short, they can no longer smoke.

How dare the school government strip away the right of a student?  It is preposterous and needs to be repealed immediately.

It is on the student whether or not she decides to quit. It is not the responsibility of the school to make that happen.  We are in college, not day care.

I propose that a designated smoking area be created, well away from the main area of campus, but close enough that someone can have their smoke on their break.

How about the grassy area as one walks onto the campus from the Shima 1 parking lot — right where they used to be?

If they were far enough from open windows and doors at that time, then they are far away enough from the fresh air intake towers.

They did not bother anyone. They were not obnoxious or rude. Also, as I walked by every single day, I felt they were far enough away that I didn’t feel my rights to not smoke being infringed upon.

Sometimes, a cigarette is the last reprieve a smoker has during their busy, hectic day; why take that from them?