Updated campus smoking regulations

“The dangerous particles in secondhand smoke can linger in the air for hours or even longer.”

This claim was made by the health website Lifescript in September of this year in relation to an article on secondhand smoking.

The website also states the dangers of secondhand smoke should be considered by everyone because of the chemicals that affected bystanders.

These chemicals include butane, ammonia and even lead.

But why does this affect our campus?

On the campus of California Lutheran University there are signs with instructions prohibiting the use of cigarettes 25 feet away from any building located on campus.

This goes with the municipal code of Thousand Oaks. The code placed by the city prohibits smoking within 25 feet of buildings.

Though the published signs on campus state the 25-foot rule, the students of Cal Lutheran have elected to change the limitations of cigarette use on campus.

Last spring the Associated Students of California Lutheran University Government voted to pass a resolution that persons using cigarettes would be pushed back an additional 25 feet from any building on campus. The resolution by ASCLUG was then sent to the Vice President’s council where it was enacted.

This means that smokers on grounds are only allowed to use cigarettes 50 feet away from any building located on campus. Designated smoking areas around residence halls however, are determined by the supervisor of each residence hall complex.

This new agreement from ASCLUG was a compromise instead of practicing a smoke-free campus at Cal Lutheran.

Melinda Roper is the vice president of Student Affairs and dean of students at Cal Lutheran. While Roper is not a smoker herself, she said she can understand the challenges of those who are on campus.

In relation to the new rules of distances smokers are limited to from buildings, in an email interview Roper stated her feelings toward the limitations.

“I think students in general appreciate efforts to support a healthy community but they can also appreciate the challenges some of these efforts might cause for others,” Roper said.

The Cal Lutheran Student Handbook also makes it clear that alternative forms of smoking are also forbidden on campus.

Stated in section 4.2 of the student handbook, “Hookah, hookah components, e-hookah, vaporizer pens and e-cigarettes are strictly prohibited.”

Roper also said the use of items such as e-cigarettes could cause tribulations on campus.

“E-cigarettes are not a problem per se, rather there is potential for them to be misused,” Roper said.

For those who are not familiar with e-cigarettes, they are a product that was exposed to the United States in 2007 from the Chinese. These products customarily burn liquid nicotine in a vapor form instead of the traditional tobacco burned in regular cigarettes.

Sam Elders is a marketing communication major and senior at Cal Lutheran. Elders was unaware of the new and even old smoking restrictions placed on those who smoke on campus.

While he claims he is not personally affected by the new smoking rule, he doesn’t see smoking limitations as a pressing issue because of his views on e-cigarette and tobacco use in general.

“I think it’s stupid, personally. Why would you want to damage your lungs, but that’s just me,” Elder’s said.

Regardless of personal views on the subject, these rules set in place on campus are for the well- being of all students, staff and faculty at Cal Lutheran.

If you intend to light up a cigarette on campus, make sure you are at least 50 feet away from a building first.

Heather Tomaszewski
Staff Writer
Published November 11th, 2015