Our View: CSULB smoking ban will burn smokers’ bridges

More than 800 schools across the nation have a zero-tolerance policy for smoking on campus, and there is a chance that Cal State Long Beach could be next.

Associated Students Inc. will vote on a resolution this week to place a smoking ban referendum on the ballot for students to vote on in next spring’s ASI elections.

A similar ban was approved at Cal State Fullerton this year, which forbids smoking anywhere on the campus, including in vehicles and parking lots. The policy change was somewhat welcomed by students and faculty.

The ban expanded on the 2003 ruling that barred smoking in or near CSUF buildings. The zero-tolerance ban at CSUF will go into effect in August 2013.
If ASI passes the resolution and the referendum wins a majority vote on the spring ballot, then the policy would only change if President F. King Alexander decides to adhere to the student vote.

There is zero tolerance for skateboarders on campus, but we still almost get run over by them everyday while walking to class.

If students can still get away with skateboarding, then odds are that smokers will get away with their cigarettes too. At least, if they are careful.

Of course, it will be easier for campus police to catch a hacking smoker than a fleeing skateboarder.

We do not believe an all-campus ban is necessary for CSULB. However, our editorial board was not unanimous in this decision. Some of us would like to see smoking eliminated from our school altogether. But, the majority of us believe that a smoking ban is not necessary.

Secondhand smoke does kill thousands of people every year, but how many of those deaths can be attributed to those passing by smoke on university campuses in the open air?

The smokestacks surrounding our city and polluting our air are what we should be more worried about.

We believe that smoking should not be condoned indoors or in highly populated areas. Our school already enforces this with bans on smoking inside and designated smoking areas on campus.

It is a person’s right to smoke cigarettes, but it is also another person’s right to take care of their health as well.

Who knows which way our school will vote in the spring election if this referendum makes the ballot? With so many schools banning tobacco products on campus, it seems to be a compelling trend among universities. It could protect non-smokers’ health and curb smokers’ addictions – but curbing that addiction should be their choice, not the university’s.

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