Smoking put in the corner

By Stephanie Paniagua |Staff Writer|

Not only can smoking cost you your life, it may also cost you money out of your pocket if you are caught smoking on campus outside of newly defined areas designated for smoking.

It is possible that in the future CSUSB may impose a fine that would be more expensive than a parking violation.

“A parking violation won’t kill you,” said Carlos Carrio, Health Educator and Wellness Coordinator for the Student Health Center at CSUSB.  He went on to speculate that the smoking fine will be around $75.

Carrio has been working at CSUSB since 2007 and has been trying to enact the new No Smoking On-campus policy since his arrival.

“The policy was actually signed last year by President Dr. Albert Karnig, but it has taken us a year to enforce it,” said Carrio.

With the help of Carrio’s Peer Health Educators, made up of 15 CSUSB students, awareness of the harmful effects of smoking and second-hand smoke has begun to travel around campus.

“We are in what I call an implementation phase in that we want to bring awareness about the policy to the students and the harmful effects of smoking,” said Carrio. “The fine would be something that would occur in the future, “ he said.

“We don’t enforce it,” said Alma Flores, a peer health educator, “We just let them know about the policy”.

According to Flores, educational awareness takes place by displaying information tables and one-on-one communication with students.

“We all carry fliers with us and pass them out to the students that we see smoking while we’re on our way to class, work, or home,” said Flores.

One CSUSB student’s reaction to the new policy was shock.

Zach Alamari said he was unaware that there was a new policy about smoking as he was standing by one of the new notification signs outside of Jack Brown Hall.

“We’re adults,” said Alamari, “I think we know what we are doing”, he said.

Alamari said that smoking is supposed to be a stress reliever and that students usually step outside to smoke a cigarette real quick and then go back into class.

“If we have to walk a certain distance just to smoke a cigarette, by the time we get back to class we will have missed 15 or 20 minutes of lecture. It’s not worth it,” said Alamari.

Carrio stated that he hopes to get more advertisements promoting the No Smoking On-campus policy on monitors around campus,  as well as campus maps, and the CSUSB website. Emails have also been emailed out campus-wide to students, staff, and faculty.

The No Smoking On-campus policy can be found on the CSUSB web site.

Carrio, who possesses a background in public policy, said that the main reasons the policy was enacted were to discourage smoking to CSUSB students as young as 18 years of age, to assist those who are trying to quit smoking, to promote student wellness and to promote a tobacco free environment at CSUSB.

In total there are 16 areas designated for smoking around campus, the locations of which can be found on campus maps.

Assistance programs for those that wish to quit smoking such as Smoking Sensations are available through the Student Health Center.

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