District-wide smoking ban to begin next year

Irvine Valley College and Saddleback College will slowly be transitioning to a smoke-free enviornment (Photographer/Hannah Tavares).

Irvine Valley College and Saddleback College will slowly be transitioning to a smoke-free enviornment (Photographer/Hannah Tavares).

Saddleback College and Irvine Valley College will begin transitioning to smoke-free campuses next year. Education and awareness will begin in spring 2015, and enforcement of the ban will begin in the fall of 2015, said Academic Senate President Dan Walsh.

This ban will include students, faculty, staff, administrators, and the general, visiting public attending events, according to Administrative Regulation 2150 for a smoke-free district.

SC’s Academic Senate unanimously moved to approve AR 2150 on Wednesday, Nov. 5, but students aren’t so unanimous.

“I think it’s a horrible idea,” said Eric Vasquez, 18, business. “Everyone should have the right to do what they want.”

Under the ban, all smoking would be prohibited in all district buildings on all district properties.

Tobacco products to be prohibited include, but are not limited to, burning of any type of cigar, cigarette, pipe, electronic cigarettes or vaporizers, and smokeless, chewing tobacco, according to AR 2150.

Walsh said that both chiefs from SC and IVC would enforce the new regulation when it is instated. Campus police will ask people to put out their cigarettes, and failure to do so will result in an economic citation. The ramifications of the citation are yet to be decided.

“They aren’t just going to walk up to people and say ‘Your smoking, here is a ticket,” Walsh said. “Now, if someone is a repeat offender, it’s at [the police’s] discretion.”

Enforcement of the smoking ban will be equal to that of parking regulations on the campuses, Walsh said.

“Everyone’s voice is being heard,” said Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations. Tere Fluegeman. “They have passed it, but now are waiting for the details on the way they are going to go about [enforcing] it. A lot of colleges are doing this across the state and it’s an expensive process.”

This ban comes on the heels of rising health concerns over college students being exposed to secondhand smoke.

An estimated 3,400 lung cancer deaths occur every year in non -smoking adults according to the American Cancer Society.

Ken Carandang, 23, political science, sympathizes with the need for the smoking ban.

“Secondhand smoke is harmful to bystanders, even though it may only be to a small degree,” he said. “In light of this, the ban makes sense.”