Smoke-Free Campus, A Breath of Fresh Air?

Jaymes Grundmann, Editor In Chief

Students walking around Arapahoe Community College may have noticed some changes this semester. There seems to be a lack of cigarette butts and chewing tobacco in the parking lots. No haze of smoke and vapor clouding up the building entrances and I’m sure we’ve all noticed the ever present signs exclaiming “Tobacco and Smoke-Free Campus” scattered around the parking lot.

This is due to ACC executing it’s new smoking ban titled, AP 19-30a Tobacco and Smoke Free Campus. This was implemented in accordance with John Hickenlooper’s 2018 executive order banning the use of tobacco and vaping products on the premises of all state schools.

According to Officer Kevin Heylin from the Campus Police Department “We’re issuing oopsy cards in the beginning but we’ll be keeping track of repeat offenders. We’re not about issuing citations, we’re about education. But we’re getting close to full implementation of the ban”.

Those caught after receiving a written warning can expect a $200 fine. If caught again, the cost raises to $300 and then $500 for the third offence.

As a smoker myself, I was frustrated at first. I had come to cherish my smoke-filled moment of solitude in-between classes and was left bitter in its absence. However, after a month of the campus wide ban, my nicotine use has drastically decreased and I’ve started to look on the bright side.

Smoking is the top cause of preventable death with over 480,000 deaths each year in the US alone according to statistics from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even e-cigarette vaping alternatives have recently been shown to have negative effects on health.

While the smoking ban may feel like an inconvenience to nicotine users, it could make a positive impact on their health and possibly help motivate them to quit.