Possible smoking ban gains fans (file photo)

Sixty-nine percent of Orange Coast College students, faculty and staff who responded to a survey last month said they were concerned about the effects of tobacco use on campus.

The survey was used by the student senate’s smoking policy taskforce to collect student and employee feedback on the possibility of OCC becoming a smoke-and vape-free campus.

“We want to create that healthy environment at Orange Coast College,” Anna Hanlon, a professor of public health and exercise science who advises the smoking policy taskforce said.

The 69 percent that said they were concerned about smoking on campus cited health-related reasons, such as smoke affecting pregnant women and those with asthma and allergies. There was also concern about a lack of enforcement in current non-smoking areas.

More than 50 percent of students, faculty, staff and management respondents also said that OCC should adopt a smoke and tobacco-free campus policy, according to the survey.

“I preferably would not like to be walking around campus with people blowing smoke everywhere, especially when I am walking to class and people blow smoke right in my face,” one anonymous survey participant wrote.

A total of 1,464 individuals responded to the smoking and tobacco use survey, with respondents making up five percent of the student population and 19 percent of campus employees.

Preliminary results have been shared with the College Council and student senate and will be presented to the Academic Senate so that it can make a recommendation for the campus smoking policy.

Conversations on establishing a resolution will begin in spring, and recommendations will be made to the college president and if approved, sent to the Coast Community College District’s board of trustees.

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