New policy at Diablo Valley College aims to eliminate smoking on campus


Courtney Donahoe

Students gathered around the unofficial DVC smoking spot in front of the Humanities/BFL building.

Courtney Donahoe, Staff member

Anyone at Diablo Valley College who walks by the Business and Foreign Language building from the parking lots on the north side of campus knows about the spot where people gather to smoke cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Well, to start the spring 2018 semester DVC has taken a step to eliminate that cloud of smoke from campus altogether by implementing a new smoking policy.

California Assembly Bill 846 already prohibits smoking within 20 feet of all doorways and windows and before the change smoking was allowed in the parking lots and on the sidewalks right next to the buildings at DVC.

Now however, no smoking, tobacco or vaping products of any kind are allowed on campus.

This includes playing fields, walkways, roadways, parking lots or smoking inside vehicles while on DVC property.

Interestingly, the smoking policy for the San Ramon Campus is that smoking is allowed but only in the student parking lots.

Walking while smoking pollutes the air which can make it hard for non-smokers to walk near the smoking section.

According to DVC’s website, this new smoking policy was implemented because, “DVC recognizes the health hazards associated with tobacco addiction. DVC also recognizes the challenges faced by those addicted to tobacco products and therefore supports efforts of employees and students to quit using tobacco products.”

DVC’s policy also states that, “adherence to our tobacco-free policy relies, in large part, on the initiative of students and staff to politely request that smokers comply and on the courtesy of smokers to acknowledge and observe the restrictions.”

The people who don’t follow these rules are violating the Student Code of Conduct and could be punished with disciplinary action.

The Inquirer contacted DVC Police Services to see if citing smokers is something they will be focused on but so far has received no response.

When asked about the new policy Deya Awad a 19-year-old business major said, “I don’t agree with it, we’re adults, we should be able to do what we want.”

Awad felt there should not be constrictions saying, “as long as you’re careful with what you’re doing, you should be allowed to smoke it, there should be a smoking section for smokers.”

Monica IIda-Costanzo, 25, a Allied health in physical science major said, “I think its cool, I don’t like the smell of it (cigarettes).”

Victoria Stewart, 22, undecided, agreed with this policy saying, “to be fair I am biased, I don’t like cigarette smoke, I don’t like the smell of it, even e-cigs.”

Stewart was happy that there was something done about it adding, “I appreciate it for the health of non-smokers.”

Editors Note: The new smoking policy is Board Policy 2045.  The fine is $25 for the first and second offense and $100 for every violation after that. However, according to the District Director of Communications and Community Relations Timothy Leong, the Contra Costa Community College District’s first priority will be education and signage so that students and staff understand the new policy.