According to a poll sent out by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness in May and June of 2013, 61 percent of PCC want a change in the smoking policy, while 33 percent want no change.
Respondents were asked if they wanted a tobacco free campus, a smoke free campus, or continue with current policy of designated smoking areas.
A tobacco free campus would ban all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and chewing tobacco.
A smoke free campus would ban only cigarettes and other devices that exude smoke.
Of the 11,904 surveys sent out, there were a total of 2160 responses.
25.6 percent want a tobacco free campus.
35.4 percent want a smoke free campus.
33.3 percent want to keep the current smoking policy of designated smoking areas.
â€œHealth and Safety Committee will act on the findings of the survey and recommend a 100% Smoke Free campus,â€ said Jo Buczko, co-chair of the Health and Safety Committee and Coordinator of Student Health Services.
Responders also were asked about enforcement procedures for those caught smoking on campus.Â 51 percent wanted tiered citation along with cessation education/services ($25 for the first offence then $50, $75.Â The maximum fine allowable by the California Government Code 7596-7598 is $100.) Â Â 21 percent wanted tiered citation only, 7 percent wanted smoking cessation education/services only and 17 percent wanted no citations.
â€œThe committee recognizes that smoking is an addiction and supports those who want to quit smoking,â€ said Buczko.Â Buczko went on to say that the committee supports the Associated Students recommendation that the first fine be waived if a student â€œenrolls in an approved cessation program within two weeks of the citation.â€Â Â Employees and visitors will not have this option.
In an unofficial survey of seven local colleges, only two were non-smoking and no-tobacco (UCLA and Glendale Community College).Â There was only one college with monetary fines, (Glendale, $100 for first offense.)Â All other colleges have smoking areas and no monetary fines.
The survey also asked about current and past smoking practices.Â 70.1 percent of responders said they had never smoked.Â 4.9 percent are current smokers, 18.9 percent are former smokers, while 3.2 percent are trying to quit.
Of the 11,904 surveys sent, 8212 were sent to students with 1722 responses, and 3633 sent to full time faculty, adjunct faculty, managers and classified staff with 438 responses.
â€œAs a health care professional,â€ said Buczko, â€œI need to say that quitting smoking is the most important behavior change a person can make for their health. As a public health advocate, it’s time to act for the greater good and provide a campus that sustains a healthier learning and working environment.â€
The outgoing Associated Student government recommended a smoke free policy with a tiered citation, and actively promotes the waived first fee for enrolling in a cessation program.Â The new Associated Student government has yet to vote on the recommendation.
At the end of the Board of Trustees meeting on May 5, Janette Mann asked when a new smoking policy would come before the board, and was assured it would be soon.
An unofficial sample of college smoking policies in the region:
Los Angeles Trade Tech College:Â Designated smoking sections.Â Within the last three months LATTC has begun handing out warning tickets for smoking not in the designated areas, according to Deputy Lavonce Jeffrey, supervisor of the on campus Sheriffs Department.Â After two or three citations the offender must speak with disciplinary school officials.Â There are no monetary fines.Â Deputy Jeffries said that the new warning tickets seem to be working.
Santa Monica College:Â Smoke free campus, but designated smoking areas just outside campus.Â No monetary fines.
UCLA:Â Smoke and tobacco free as of April 22, 2013, the first UC campus to do so.Â No monetary fines.
Los Angeles City College:Â Designated smoking areas, no monetary fines.
Glendale Community College:Â Smoke and tobacco free as of April 15, 2013.Â Students, staff, faculty and visitors will receive a $100 fine (maximum allowable by law) for smoking or tobacco use. Â Students can also receive a $250 fine for littering which includes cigarette butts.
USC:Â Designated smoking areas.Â No monetary fine.
East Los Angeles College:Â Designated smoking areas.Â No monetary fine.