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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Vape popularity leads to increase in campus smoking violations

Lauren Michelle McGee
Mohammed All Zerine smokes a cigarette under the bridge between East and West campus on Monday, April 8, 2019, at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. “I don’t smoke a lot, just in-between classes,” said All Zerine. “Then I can come back to class and focus on the teacher.”

Electronic cigarettes have recently grown in popularity, and with that comes the struggle for City College Security to enforce the college’s smoking ban.

The policy was implemented on campus Aug. 5, 2013. Since then, the college and its security team have had trouble imposing this rule. This has kept City College from being a tobacco-free campus.

Students have also noticed the lack of enforcement, and there has been some confusion about the rules.  

“I’ve seen teachers walk up to people and tell them to stop, but that’s it,” Student Dylan Skarston said.

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Despite the “no smoking” signs posted all over campus, students can be found smoking in almost all hidden corners.

Prohibited tobacco products are specified on the online security page. The ban includes cigars, cigarettes, pipes and electronic cigarettes.

“When a student is caught smoking on campus, we remind them that this is a no-smoking campus,” Security Direction Erick Fricke said. “If they are caught again, they will be sent to the Dean’s office for disciplinary action.”

Reports can be filed after the security team has personally caught the smoker, or after they’ve received a call by passersby reporting the smoker.

The normalization of vapes, including Juuls and Suorins, have posed a separate problem in itself, creating confusion as to whether the rules apply to these devices.

“I see the signs around school, but I don’t know if there are certain areas around campus where it’s allowed,” Student Jerald Carrasco said. “No one has ever stopped me and told me no.”

Studies have shown that over 30 percent of college students have tried an e-cigarette. The increase of e-cigarettes has also parallelled the decline of students smoking cigarettes.

Despite this, Fricke reported fewer complaints about vaping.

“We don’t get as many complaints about vaping as we did about smoking,” Fricke said.

He added that there is likely a connection to the discreteness of vapes and decline in complaints, but emphasized that vapes, like all other smoking devices, are prohibited on campus.

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