Pierce to be smoke-free by February 2010

Elliot Golan/Roundup

 No smoking will be allowed on campus effective Feb 1, 2010, according to Melody Cooper, Work Environment Committee (WEC) chair. 
Smoking will be relegated to off campus areas in parking lots 1-7, wrote Cooper in an email.
Beth Benne, Director of the Student Health Center voiced some concerns over the new policy.
“People who are addicted to nicotine can’t be expected to shut it off,” said Benne. 
Though Benne is behind making the campus smoke-free, she believes that more time is necessary to prepare the student body for the change.
“We should’ve done more preparation for our returning students,” said Benne. 
The Student Health Center offered a smoking cessation program to students this semester.

Benne estimated that between five and 10 students took part in the program.
“We’re piloting it this semester,” said Benne. “We’ll evaluate effectiveness during winter.”
Benne added that though she has voiced her concern over the date of implementation, if students don’t have the desire to quit, “I’m wasting my breath.” 
Interim President Joy McCaslin said that the WEC sent her a recommendation on the policy mid-semester. McCaslin added that she approved it and was in complete support of it. 
Campus police will be enforcing the new regulations. Cooper said that violators would be issued a campus incident report that would then be forwarded to the Dean of Discipline. 
Though the decision has been made final, Sheriff’s Deputy Al Guerrero was unaware of the plan as of yesterday. 
“I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing,” Guerrero said.
He added that smoking, like any habit, is tough to break and that “everyone needs help.”
When the topic was discussed at an Academic Senate meeting earlier in the semester, a unanimous vote decided to make the campus smoke-free by no later than Fall 2010. 
Pierce College will be the first Los Angeles Community College District school to enforce a smoke-free policy. The closest college with similar restrictions is Moorpark College.

In the spring, new signage will be posted in all designated smoking areas, according to Cooper. She also wrote that entrances into the campus will be marked with signs indicating entry into a smoke-free campus. 



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