Smoking is the number one cause for preventable disease and death everywhere.
According to “The American Lung Association” as of 2009, smokers accounted for 46 million, or 20 percent of adults (18 and older) in America.
Since 2008, the use of electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, has greatly increased. In 2008, there were 50,000 users of e-cigarettes. In 2012, however, that number increased tremendously to 3.5 million users.
At Las Positas College, where smoking is prohibited anywhere on campus, e-cigarettes are becoming more and more popular. Because of disturbances on campus though due to the misconception that the students are smoking real cigarettes, changes to the smoking policy are being recommended to new school president Dr. Barry Russell.
“The problem is that when these people are smoking inside, people think it’s real and call us, set aside any health issues, it’s becoming a nuisance, and it’s taking up a lot our time to respond to it,” Campus Safety Supervisor Sean Prather said.
“Most of the students have been pretty cool about it, so we see them in the cafeteria, and we just say ‘Hey, can you go sit outside please?’” Prather said.
The University of California (UC) system is instilling a new smoking policy, effective January 2014, that bans all smoking on campus.
This policy also includes e-cigarettes, hookahs, chewing tobacco and any kind of non-combustible smoking device.
The California State University system changed to a smoke-free policy as of January 2013, and Prather believes that the Community Colleges of California (CCC) will follow suit.
“We don’t understand the effects, and the studies haven’t showed us what the effects of the second hand vapors are going to have,” Nurse Practitioner Dayna Barbero said.
Some of the flavorants in the water vapors have shown that they carry some dangerous carcinogens, which include Diethylene Glycol, a poisonous organic compound.
Prather and Barbero will have the policy brought up to the president once he has settled in.
There is no timetable as to when this policy could come into effect if approved.
LPC will also host the Great American Smokeout on Nov. 21, where Health Center staff will be passing out smoke cessation kits in the quad.