Potential college-wide smoking ban continues to move foward

By Emmanuel Colon
[email protected]

Valencia’s District Board of Trustees has built a work plan to ban smoking on school property.

The plan came to be in September 2010 and the work team has been working on developing it since.

According to the work plan it is stated that this policy was created to: “Strengthen the College’s existing policy on smoking in order to promote the health, well being and safety of students, faculty, staff and visitors while on the campus by ensuring protection from secondhand smoke exposure.”

In addition, this charge, as a result, would include assistance for employees and students who want to kick the habit.

This policy would also “make it less attractive for new personnel and students to start smoking.”

The Valencia Voice recently conducted a survey on all campuses in which 349 students and staff members were asked if they were for or against the smoking ban.

According to this study, 59% were against this policy while also agreeing that the current smoking policy should be better enforced and the smoking areas should be more limited.

“Our main goal in SGA is to enforce the current policy and designated smoking areas,” said West campus SGA President Catalina Perez.

“I wonder how it is going to be enforced,” said English professor Jill Sebacher. “If a policy were in effect, what would be the repercussions? Would they fine students and staff for smoking on property?”

It is also included in the work plan that if employees and students successfully quit smoking, insurance costs for the school will decrease.

“The school can save money by passing this policy,” said former SGA President Robert Stio. “That money can then go to expanding the roads, and we can even reduce book costs at the store.”

Many students and faculty/staff are concerned about not being able to smoke in a stressful environment.

Sebacher adds, “You have a stress situation that affects students. Are you going to tell them not to smoke because they are nervous before a test?”

Details as to the adoption of this policy are yet to be known but according to the work plan, the team is still in the process of passing the new smoking ban, and the effective date of implementation is yet to be determined.

For more information on this policy, the work plan document can be found at: http://www.valenciacc.edu/generalcounsel/documents/smoke_free_Policy_Work_Plan.pdf.

For other resources and information go to: http://www.valenciacc.edu/generalcounsel/hot_topics.cfm.