The voice of De Anza College since 1967

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.

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  • Susan Colley

    Greetings, all!!

    I don’t know who they sent the above-mentioned survey to, but I certainly didn’t receive one, and I *strongly* object to removing the three (the fourth no longer exists) smoking areas from our campus!!!!!

    After sitting in class for two hours, I am *really* ready for my cigarette, and if I have to leave the campus to have it, I probably won’t be back on campus until it’s time for my next class to start, three hours later (this quarter, anyway). During those three hours on campus, among the things I do are:

    1) Go to the Campus Center Coffee Shop to buy my coffee ($2.50 + $0.50 tip + (sometimes) $0.25 fee for using my debit card)
    2) Go the the Campus Center Cafeteria or the on-campus Una Mas Restaurant for a late lunch (~$7.00)
    3) Go to the Library
    4) Go to the Media and Learning Center to read in the Student Lounge
    5) Attend classes such as the Catalyst Orientation and the Run-Hide-Defend class
    6) Visit Faculty Advisors and other staff members
    7) Read La Voz (and replace it in one of the racks when I’m done, to save paper and make sure there’s one there for the next person)
    8) Attend the Burning Ice exhibit at the Euphrat Gallery
    9) Visit with members of my online classes, so that we can talk about the course and related subjects and get to know one another
    10) Meet Tom and Lisa and discover the benefits of the History Center
    11) Meet with my instructors during their office hours
    12) Use the computer lab
    13) Attend Phi Theta Kappa meetings
    14) Get in 3.5 miles of walking as I crisscross the campus, acquainting myself with all the different buildings, entry/escape routes, emergency phone locations, etc., as I was advised to do in the Run-Hide-Defend Class
    15) Use different parking lots, again as I was advised to do in the Run-Hide-Defend Class
    16) Generally participate in Campus Life and feel that I am truly part of the De Anza College Community, further instilling a sense of my responsibility to ensure that the campus is safe and clean for all of us!!

    If I had to leave the campus to have my *much-needed* nicotine fix after my first class, not only would I miss out on all of the above, but I would most likely go back home for the interim, meaning not one 31-mile round-trip drive per day, but two, adding to the congestion on the roads as well as to the pollutants in our atmosphere, not to mention just generally wasted time that would have been better spent reading or talking with others.

    De Anza College is one of the best places there is to get a full and well-rounded education and it got that way by being a leader, not a follower. To exclude any member of its population from the benefits of campus life would be very wrong and detrimental to that standing.


    Sue Colley
    Candidate for an Advanced AA Degree as an Enterprise Security Professional


    Mary Rasooli Reply:

    Hi Susan !

    My name is Mary Rasooli and I am a DASB senator that also agrees with you completely! As for the survey, it has yet to be publicized by the health center ( As far as I have been told) If you’d like to stay posted, shoot me an email at or message me on facebook and we can chat. Thank you for sharing your concerns and I am personally going to do all I can to stand up against removing our smoking sections.

    In solidarity,

    Mary Rasooli


  • Angel Z

    Like you said, De Anza has four smoking areas on the fringes of campus. If someone gets sick walking near smoke, there’s plenty of room to walk around


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