Smoking Policy: Will it ever change?


Katharine Hada

Students enjoy a smoke break in the designated parking lot on DVC campus in Pleasant Hill, Dec. 7.

Allison Roullier, Staff member

Diablo Valley College has a standard campus smoking policy, which is not currently being enforced.  – The Contra Costa Community College District Board Policy 2045, which states that smoking is prohibited in enclosed spaces, has not been revised since July 1999.

The DVC smoking policy states that smoking will only be allowed in the (student) parking lots, in the hopes of “recognizing the rights of non-smokers to a reasonably smoke-free environment.” The state law also forbids smoking within 20-feet of all doorways and windows. Neither of those policies are currently being enforced.

Acting Lieutenant of College Police and Safety, Kathryn McDonald commented, “The smoking policy is not enforced by the DVC police, but is more of a code of conduct. If we were to see a student smoking in a non-designated area, we would ask them to put it out and remind them of the DVC policy, like any school employee would do.”

Students, however, have begun to speak up in protest.

“Smoking on campus has gotten out of control,” Adrian Padua, a DVC biology major, told the Inquirer. “As a non-smoker walking to and from the parking lot, I don’t enjoy being followed by a huge puff of either a tropical scent or the smell of cigarette smoke. I understand people enjoy doing it, but when it comes to other people’s health, smoking areas should be moved.”

Similarly, Victoria Del Bino, DVC biology major said, “There should definitely be designated areas farther away from campus. I get that people sometimes need to smoke, but at least have the courtesy not to do it around busy sections around people who aren’t smoking.”

The primary goal of our campus smoking policy is to recognize the wishes of non-smokers, and give people who smoke the opportunity to do so without effecting those who do not.

In 2013, the Associate Students of DVC President-elect, Sam Park, said that ASDVC had voted for a plan to moved the smoking areas and ashtrays farther away from campus, making the school smoke-free. Two years later, this plan has not been pursued and nothing more has been done.

These lines will continue to be blurry until the policy is acted upon in a stricter fashion. Until then, campus police and faculty will continue to enforce their code of conduct, and ask that any affected student do the same.