Smoke-free campus debate to continue

Jasmine Martinez

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Continuing from Spring 2019, discussions over a proposed resolution for a 100 percent smoke-free campus are moving forward with the Associated Students of Cerritos College, according to vice president-elect.

Nathan Williams said one thing he is working to provide is an outlet for people can speak on the matter.

He said he and president-elect, Kimberly Sayo, have discussed the matter and have taken a stance as well.

“We are looking at health and safety issues. I want to make sure, at least in the Senate, that we provide an opportunity for both sides to speak about it,” Williams explained, “It is something that the students want and we stand for the students.”

President of Cerritos College, Jose Fierro, said he agrees with a smoke-free campus but understands that it is sometimes difficult with the implementation of new policies.

Fierro said, “We cannot go from saying ‘smokers are being disrespectful to non-smokers’ to implementing in such a way that we are disrespecting those who are smokers.”

However, he feels the complaints he’s received from the Child Development Center children being exposed to smoke, as well as pregnant women are valid conversations to have.

“Little kids, they don’t have the ability of saying ‘go on and smoke elsewhere,’” he explained.

To Fierro, mindfulness is important when it comes to implementing– saying a smoke-free campus, at least in common areas, is something to consider.

The initial resolution proposed by Henry Rios, alcohol and other drugs prevention manager for Norwalk and Hawaiian Gardens, prohibits cigarettes, cigars, and nicotine products such as vapes that are not regulated by the FDA.

The resolution would not allow students, faculty, etc. to be able to smoke on campus property, in both indoor and outdoor areas, including parking lots.

Fierro believes it should be an overtime transition and support for those who would like to stop smoking should be seen from an education and awareness point of view.

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