New smoking areas on campus

Map of smoking areas around WCC campus;

Map of smoking areas around WCC campus.

A new smoking policy went into effect Aug. 1 designating six smoking areas on WCC’s campus.

Smoking areas are marked by “designated smoking area” signs and equipped with benches and receptacles. Smokers must remain within 20 feet of the posted signs.

It is also a violation to smoke in your car while driving or parked on campus.

“You’re still blowing smoke into the air in a non-designated area,” said Rick Murray, WCC Safety and Security Manager.

Electronic smoking devices or e-cigs are not part of the new policy. The use of e-cigs are not allowed within 20 feet of building entrances, exits, windows and vents, or within 50 feet of designated pick-up or drop-off points on campus, including the bus stop.

“We made an exception for e-cigs,” said Murray. “Most people use e-cigs as a way to wean themselves off tobacco. We didn’t think it was fair to put e-cig users in the same designated areas as tobacco smokers. Who wants to smell tobacco smoke when they’re trying to quit?”

This spring, WCC had the option of becoming a smoke-free campus. Community feedback was collected through a discussion board and open forum.

“We’ve given the community what they’ve asked for,” said Murray. “We wanted to find a medium for smokers and non-smokers. We feel that the new policy fits the best interest of everyone.”

So far, there have been few infractions. “We are really very happy with the level of compliance thus far,” said Murray. “Enforcement comes within. Self-discipline—to know what the right thing to do. If the designated areas don’t work out, there is still the option to become a smoke-free campus.”

For more information on the smoking policy, visit https://windward.hawaii.edu/Adminstrative_Services/Smoke_Free.

by Tammy Pratt, Ka ‘Ohana Staff Reporter