OPINION: War on anti-smoking; questioning ASG authority

Jerrin Hilliado, a sports medicine major, 18, smokes from an electronic vaporizer. These are most commonly used as a substitute for cigarettes, although exhalation releases a vapor versus smoke. However, the ban will also include any type of e-cig, vaporizer or chewing tobacco. (Niko LaBarbera/Lariat)

Jerrin Hilliado, a sports medicine major, 18, smokes from an electronic vaporizer. These are most commonly used as a substitute for cigarettes, although exhalation releases a vapor versus smoke. However, the ban will also include any type of e-cig, vaporizer or chewing tobacco. (Niko LaBarbera/Lariat)

Smokers be damned; if they thought Saddleback happened to be the one place cigarettes and vaping wasn’t on the chopping block, I have bad news for you.

How did we get here? It seems today’s flavor-of-the-month war-on-whatever we’re having has been smoking for quite some years (read: 50 years). Yes, we’ve all had the same middle and high school classes that urged us not to smoke; and heaven forbid someone even utter the word vape, which, I believe, can act as a legitimate means to curve the much more detrimental daily cigarette fix.

I’ll be blunt; I can’t say smoking has ever offered much good to the individual, outside of being an emotional crutch. Though, the use of vapor-based electronic cigarettes is an idea we should be slightly more intrigued by, or at least become a little less reactive to. Those who are looking to quit smoking can at least do so while not producing a cigarette’s junk-cloud.

Heck, I know I can speak for those of us with sensitive smelling: although unsightly, I’d take the chemically engineered strawberry smell of an e-cigarette over the tarry muck of a cigarette any day of the week.

The bottom line; yeah, smoking is bad. No, I’m not going to give you your doctor’s speech on why you shouldn’t smoke. What I am going to give you is advice: if you’re going to smoke, vape, or toot your electronic pipe, at least have the dignities to do it off campus out of people’s way. You wouldn’t want California to ban it too, would you?

What of Saddleback’s Student Government? What is their authority to enact such a ban?

In a statement made by Student Senate member and former smoker Bruce Gilman, a leading English Professor at Saddleback College, Professor Gilman believed that the effort to ban smoking at Saddleback was the “right thing” to do, however, also noted that the level of involvement and discussion amongst the broader student population was questionable. Questionable!?

Saddleback’s Associated Student Government, although not the one to technically “enact” the ban of cigarette and electronic cigarettes on campus, did support the ban. According to the information pamphlet regarding the ban, Saddleback’s Board of Trustees were the lively bunch to approve the new policy, which is supported by ASG. Send your love letters that way, folks.

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