A survey requesting feedback about smoking on campus will be emailed to Orange Coast College students and faculty today.

The survey is part of an incentive to potentially make OCC a smoke-free campus, joining other colleges and universities including UC Irvine, Cal State Fullerton and Irvine Valley College. OCC’s smoking policy prohibits smoking within 20 feet of public buildings, as required by California law.

OCC’s student senate created a smoking policy task force which is leading the effort to create a new campus smoking policy, using the survey to ensure student voices are heard.

“We’re getting close to a no-smoking (campus) all through the Coast district. Maybe we can do it here too,” Jerry Patterson, a member of the Coast Community College District Board of Trustees said at their regular meeting Nov. 7. “I’m very anxious to see, personally. I think the whole board is probably interested in seeing this move forward.”

Survey questions will touch on student and faculty smoking habits. Responses can be submitted until Nov. 28, and collected feedback will be reviewed by the office of Institutional Effectiveness, then presented to the student senate by the task force with a suggestion on how to move forward.

Originally, the survey was going to be sent out in late October, but after reviewing it with Institutional Effectiveness, minor edits were made and weren’t approved by the student senate on time.

Regulations and enforcement for an entirely or partially smoke-free campus have not been decided on. If approved, the new campus smoking policy will most likely not go into effect until next year, according to task force chair Jolly Tadros, a 19-year-old psychology and political science major.

“I think eventually the culture will change, and people will know this is a non-smoking campus,” Anna Hanlon, professor of public health and exercise science said.

Once approved by the student senate, the proposal will be presented to the College Council for further approval.

“Like any new thing, there’s going to be little bumps, there’s going to be people forgetting. But I think collectively, we’ll just help each other out,” Hanlon said.

For students interested in quitting smoking, quit kits are available at the Student Health Center.

Supplied by the Orange County Healthcare Agency, the kits provide information for students seeking support for quitting smoking, along with tools to help aid the habitual reliance on cigarettes.

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