OPINION: Separate designated vaping area

Donovan Rios, Staff Writer

In recent years, smokers have found healthier alternatives to traditional cigarettes and nicotine. The most popular among them are e-cigarettes, also known as vaporizers.

Vaporizers have gained their popularity because of the lack of smoke and odor they produce, making it less offensive than regular cigarettes.

While they tend to be placed in the same groups, smoking and vaping are inherently different.

De Anza College has considered creating a separate area for those who use vaporizers as opposed to standard cigarettes.

Secondhand smoke, one of the main issues regarding cigarettes, causes people who don’t actually smoke to inhale the dangerous chemicals.

Avoiding this problem is possible with vaporizers, one of the many features that have drawn such a large crowd to its user base.

However, the vapers on De Anza’s campus aren’t concerned with their fellow student’s smoke, contrary to previous beliefs.

Some of the students who frequent the smoking areas, said it quickly becomes apparent that a sense of community exists.

For many of these students, both smoking and vaping are social activities. Breaking up the two groups would contradict their philosophy.

K.T. 20, automotive and engineering major, said that while smoking and vaping is not the same thing, it is not a strong enough argument to separate the two groups.

He said vapes lack the health hazards for outside parties, unlike cigarettes, and therefore should be usable.

Those within the two social circles do not feel the need to separate from each other.

When asked about the situation, Associate Vice President, Donna Jones-Dulin stated there are currently no plans to create a designated vape area. Ideas are forming but concrete plans have yet to be made.

Foothill-De Anza District Policy: “In order to provide a safe learning and working environment for students and employees, smoking is prohibited in all indoor and outdoor campus locations, with the exception of designated areas,” and “In addition, designated areas for smoking will be clearly marked.”