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Campus smoking ban would match other CA colleges
February 1, 2016
The FHDA district is surveying students and staff to determine their opinions on the district smoking policy, with the intention of eventually making De Anza and Foothill colleges completely smoke-free.
The 19-question survey, sent via email, asks respondents about their tobacco use and whether they would prefer the campus, including the parking lots, to be “100 percent smoke-free.” If significant public support is found for such a change, the new policy will proceed to the FHDA Board of Trustees for approval.
The current district smoking policy, adopted by the FHDA Board of Trustees in June 2005, restricts on-campus smoking, including the use of e-cigarettes, to designated smoking areas.
De Anza College has four designated smoking areas located on the fringes of campus.
Some students can get sick just by walking near smoke, said De Anza Health Services coordinator Mary Sullivan at the Jan. 20 DASB Senate meeting.
All of the University of California and multiple California State University and 27 California community college campuses, including San Jose City College, have implemented 100 percent smoke-free policies.
DASB senator Thao Le, who is asthmatic, said the proposed changes to the smoking policy would amount to a “mini-war on drugs,” and would ostracize students with an addiction by forcing them to leave campus to smoke.
“It would reduce smoke,” Le said, “but it would not reduce smoking.”
Karn Tankha, environmental science major, said removing the designated smoking areas is akin to “moving the bathrooms off campus.” Concentrating smokers into the smoking areas adequately limits smoke exposure to other students, he said.
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death, and nearly 42,000 people in the U.S. die each year from secondhand smoke exposure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Students interested in quitting smoking can call 408-864-8732 or visit the Health Services Office in the Campus Center for free counseling and nicotine-replacement gum and patches.