E-cig ban ignites a new debate on campus

By Jessica Soto | News Editor

Smokers in California are only allowed to smoke in designated smoking sections and now those who smoke electronic cigarettes are joining them.

E-cigs are battery-powered devices that allow users to mimic the act of smoking tobacco cigarettes.

The city of Los Angeles passed an e-cig ban March 4 with a 14-0 unanimous vote by the Los Angeles City Council. The ban requires smokers, of all kind, to smoke only in designated areas and not in public areas like parks or restaurants.

Where cigarette smoking is banned, e-cigs are following right behind.

California State Universities, including Fullerton and Fresno, have already pledged to be smoke free campuses.

Citrus College may follow in these footsteps.

During the April 1 board meeting, members of the Associated Students of Citrus College presented a petition for discussion.

The petition would have transformed Citrus into a 100 percent smoke free campus.

“The school as an institution should look after the well being of their students and staff by promoting a healthy work environment,” said Michael Tejada, public relations officer for the Associated Students of Citrus College.

Tejada pushed for the petition but it was voted down. Had the petition been passed it may have solved more than one problem.

“By making the campus smoke free, the school would be promoting a healthy lifestyle and if it was smoke free it would also reduce the amount of litter on campus,” Tejada said.

This is not to say that future ASCC boards will not revisit the petition now that it has been brought to light.

Smokers utilizing “vapes” or e-cigs are able to smoke anywhere they choose on campus.

Citrus’ current regulations on smoking follow California State Law, which is to only smoke 20 feet away from doors or windows and in designated smoking sections.

Vapes are used by some smokers as a stepping stone to quit smoking tobacco cigarettes.

Considered the “healthier” alternative to cigarette smoking, vapes allow smokers to inhale the nicotine without the tar and other harmful chemicals found in cigarettes.

However, studies vary regarding the harm that could come with choosing to vape, allowing the opposition enough leverage to continue pushing for the complete ban.

“I feel like it shouldn’t be banned because it is less toxic,” said Jordon Olilang, 23, Citrus College nursing major. “I work for a vape shop, and it’s our job to help people stop smoking.”

Citrus College does have designated smoking sections, although some smokers disregard them completely.

Although it may seem that most students don’t care about the cleanliness of the campus or what they are breathing in, some students would prefer a more restrictive campus at the least.

“If the smoking areas were better enforced I would be more for allowing smoking on campus,” said Alyssa Martin, 20, in regards to making Citrus a smoke free campus.

Although Citrus as of now adheres to state law, the school is at liberty to regulate further, but only if pressured to do so by students and those in the community.