By Allison Worrell
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – Thousands of Camden County College students feel the stress of schoolwork each day, and every student has a way of alleviating that stress. But how do smokers alleviate their stress when they can’t light up a cigarette? CCC’s Blackwood campus has no designated smoking areas; is this unfair to the smokers of CCC?
The CCC Board of Trustees deemed the Blackwood campus a tobacco-free campus on June 5, 2009. The tobacco-free institution policy reads that Camden County College is committed to promoting the good health of its students, employees and the entire college community by providing a healthy environment in which to learn and work while furthering the mission of the college; thus, bringing the tobacco-free institution policy to life.
The CCC student handbook reads, “The College supports students’ efforts to quit using tobacco products.” By tobacco products it means all tobacco products, including cigars, cigarettes, pipes, smokeless tobacco and snuff. This policy applies to everyone who steps foot on any CCC campus: employees, students, vendors, consultants, contractors, subcontractors and other visitors.
Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, and people still use it.
CCC student Lauren Laino has her say, “You can’t support the people attempting to quit smoking without supporting the people who choose to continue smoking; it’s not right, and it’s not fair.”
Fines are given out to those who choose to ignore this policy. Those who do so are charged, if caught, $25 for a single offense, and any time they are caught after that, they must pay $50.
There is no way of avoiding these fines when they are summoned. The inability to pay up could prevent a student from receiving his or her transcript or diploma.
CCC student Lauren Bowers says, “It’s unbelievable to me that, as a smoker and a 20-year-old, I can’t go outside to have a cigarette break between classes. If they had designated smoking areas, I would be more than happy to go to them.”