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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Tobacco ban draws mixed reaction

By Ashley Bradley/reporter

A tobacco ban on all TCC campuses has created mixed emotions as one student sits on campus with an unlit cigarette in hand. The only option is smoking in one’s car.  Photo by Keisha McDuffie/The Collegian
A tobacco ban on all TCC campuses has created mixed emotions as one student sits on campus with an unlit cigarette in hand. The only option is smoking in one’s car. Photo by Keisha McDuffie/The Collegian

Students arrived to a smoke-free campus this year. Last April, 60 percent of those who responded to a poll approved of the smoking ban. Approved by the board of trustees, the ban went into effect May 27.

 “It’s really surprising that they would ban something that some people are in desperate need of using,” said NE Campus student Kara Troglin.

Troglin, a non-smoker, returned to school after taking two semesters off shocked to hear about the new ban.

“Although it seems a little crazy, it does seem healthier for everyone, and it does help students to not pick up the habit.”

Some students are in favor of the new ban, saying that it is in their best interest.

“I was diagnosed with asthma last year, and, as a result, smoke is one of the things that affect me to the point where I have to use my emergency inhaler,” said SE Campus student Bernadine Malenfant.

NW Campus student Diana Cruz is pregnant and glad for the new policy.

“It is hard to breathe around smoke,” she said.

“I never like people who smoke anyway because they just put them [cigarettes] out anywhere.”

Despite the fact that some students are happy to have the ban in place, others are angered at the campuses’ decision to be tobacco-free.

“We’re adults,” said Rachel Carlson, a NE Campus student. 

“We should have free will. We’re not in high school. There’s been talk of a petition to get smokers back our rights on campus.”

While some students feel that smoking is a right, some students just don’t understand why the policy was changed in the first place.

“I think it’s a bit ridiculous. It might offend people, but some people smoke,” said South Campus student Jameson Williams. “If you’re going to accommodate one person, you should accommodate all people. There is nothing wrong with having designated smoking areas.”

Jim Ciolek, NE respiratory associate professor, said the ban is a good idea because people who aren’t smokers shouldn’t have to deal with secondhand smoke.

“I am slightly concerned, though, that if people get used to that behavior, a slippery slope might occur and it won’t stop. Chewing tobacco [being banned] might be a little far,” he said.

Located online, the district policy that covers smoking says that the use of tobacco products are permitted only in private vehicles as long as all residue remains within the vehicle.

District Police Chief Frank Buchanan says that no definite disciplinary action has been agreed on, but there is discussion of citations costing $5 for the first offense, with an increase of $5 for any proceeding offenses.

“As of right now, we are just trying to educate students on the new smoking ban and give them verbal warnings,” he said.

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