The students and employees of the University of La Verne no longer have to worry about walking through a cloud of secondhand smoke.
A new policy restricts smoking to only parking lots and public sidewalks that are directly adjacent to University parking lots.
The policy was approved on Oct. 15 and will be enforced beginning Jan. 1, 2011.
“I think this policy is useless. Where do they expect people to smoke?” said Phillip Velasco, senior technical theater major.
Smoking will be prohibited anywhere on the main campus including any building owned, leased or rented by the University, regardless of whether is it on or off campus.
The policy applies to University faculty, staff, students and visitors alike.
“I don’t think it will work,” Velasco said. “I don’t think it will be properly enforced when the time comes.”
Smoking is known to be harmful to smokers, but it is also harmful to involuntary smokers who obtain second-hand smoke. These harmful effects from smoking and involuntary smoking include diseases such as, but not limited to, lung cancer, emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
“I like this new policy because I do not think smoking should be in a school and around students,” Amberly Kastelic, freshman art major, said.
“I do not smoke and I do not wish to breathe in someone else’s smoke while trying to walk to class,” Kastelic said.
The University will be putting up signs at facility entrances to notify and remind students, faculty, staff and visitor of the policy and where the designated smoking areas are located.
All the information for this new policy can be reviewed in the Smoking Restriction Policy found at the Human Resources Department website. All individuals who smoke are expected to follow this new policy.
“I don’t mind that people smoke, I just prefer to not be around it and I think this policy will make it easier to avoid walking through a smoky area,” Kastelic said.
Separating smokers from non-smokers can reduce non-smokers to the exposure of environmental tobacco smoke; however it will not totally eliminate their exposure.
“I believe the new smoking policy is very beneficial to our school,” Andrea Naccache, sophomore business major, said.
“It will help clean the air on the La Verne campus and eliminate trash on the ground because people tend to throw their cigarette butts on the ground,” Naccache added.
It has been estimated that a smoker inhales only 15 percent of the smoke from their cigarettes, while the other 85 percent is left in the air for others to breathe. Secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals and includes more than 40 cancer-causing agents.
Not all smokers are frustrated with this new policy.
“I was not a smoker when there were smoking sections,” Daniel Lewis, junior English major, said. “I came into smoking knowing that it bothers others and that they do not want to be around it so I am used to having to keep a distance when smoking.
“I do not mind this new policy. It will, however, be inconvenient when it rains,” Lewis said.
Brittany Lawrence can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.