Breathe Campaign aims for a healthy CSULB
For one of the final times on campus, this student enjoys his cigarette. The 2016 Fall semester will end all forms of smoking on campus (Alejandro Ramos/Union Weekly)
By Alejandro Ramos Staff Writer
President Jane Close Conoley wants students to breathe easier, but some won’t like the way she plans on doing it.
President Conoley announced the launch of BREATHE, a comprehensive education campaign about the dangers of smoking, in an email she sent out to students and faculty on Jan. 26.
In the email, Conoley outlines the goal of having students, faculty, and visitors “better understand the importance of a healthy campus environment”. This reinforces the message Conoley sent out in October 2015, where she stated she wants to make CSULB the healthiest campus.
BREATHE comes just months before CSULB goes 100 percent smoke and tobacco free in Fall 2016, and some students are not ready.
“I guess I should enjoy this while I can,” said Marcus Mendoza, referring to this vape.
Vapes rose in popularity as an alternative to cigarettes over the past couple of years and were not as strictly regulated as cigarettes. That is until now. The use of vapes will also be restricted as part of the school’s shift to a smoke-free campus.
The shift to a smoke-free campus is the result of two years of work, starting with a 2013 referendum that was administered to students. The results of the referendum showed that 64 percent of the voters voted in favor of a smoke free campus, which prompted Conoley to move forward and begin work on changing the smoking policy.
Mendoza was unaware of the coming change and finds the move unnecessary. At the very least, he thinks the school should keep a designated smoking area.
James Reynoso and Juan Lozano share the same sentiment. They take their smoke breaks in the area in front of library. They joked about how they’ll have to walk up the block to 7th Street to have a smoke break once the new policy takes effect.
“It’s an inconvenience,” said Reynoso, business finance major. “This campus is huge.”
Christopher Orozco, psychology major, says the smoke on campus bothers him but that he wouldn’t mind if there were smoking areas away from where students and faculty walk.
“The person walking through that would be aware and say ‘oh, this is where all the smokers hang out,” said Orozco.
It should be noted that the current smoking policy does not outline any specific areas where students and faculty may smoke. It only states where they may not smoke, which comes down to the main hallway leading up to the library and anywhere within 20 feet of buildings.
There is much confusion around the policy change, but BREATHE is supposed to clear that—and the air—up. Signage and other educational materials will be posted and distributed in the coming weeks.
There are some that understand why the school would make the change to the smoking policy without much explanation.
“It could be better for people,” said Josh Ahn, communication major, as he held a cigarette in his hand.