One Year Later, Some Students Still Bemoan Smoking Policy

Picture detailing California State University is smoke and tobacco free

Courtesy of Roman Banuelos

Roman Banuelos, Contributing Writer

More than a year after Cal State LA banned smoking on campus, students report mixed feelings about the policy, with some still holding grudge.

“I’m not doing anything wrong. I study my butt off everyday,” said Erika Banahan, a third year student. “With all this stress that I deal with from work and school [and trying to find parking], I just want one place on campus where I can smoke in peace.”

The policy banning all smoking on campus — including cigarettes, marijuana and vape pens — took effect Sept. 1, 2017.

University officials say it was intended to improve student health.

“The health and well-being of the Cal State LA community is of vital importance. The no smoking policy contributes to a healthy environment for all,” said Robert Lopez, a spokesperson for Cal State LA.

Giselle Velazquez, a fourth-year Television, Film and Media Studies major and a non-smoker, can see both sides. “ I understand where campus is coming from, since second-hand smoke is very dangerous…But I feel bad for all the other students who smoke cigarettes to relieve stress,” she said. “We have to be fair with each other especially in a college campus.  People have different lifestyles yet we shouldn’t marginalize people just because they smoke.”