New smoking policy at SWOCC

New smoking policy at SWOCC »Play Video
COOS BAY, Ore. -- The first week of classes at Southwestern Oregon Community College just ended and students now have to smoke in designated areas. They're marked by a sign and sometimes a picnic table at 12 locations around campus.

In the past, students at SWOCC could smoke anywhere on campus as long as they were ten feet from a building.

To keep up with new state policies, and after conducting student surveys, the change was put into place July 1st.

Housing Director, Jeff Whitey, says there haven't been any problems so far. "It's obviously going to be an adjustment period, and the college is trying to do its best to notify everybody and provide the resources. We have the website up that offers all the smoking resources here in the community as well as on campus," he said.

Both smoking and non-smoking students seem to think it's a good idea.

Levi Duvall is a transfer student who doesn't smoke. He said, "You should be able to smoke in certain places but not all around the campus area where there's people that really don't want to walk around and smell cigarette smoke all day. You know to stay away from the designated areas if you don't want to smell cigarettes."

Marian Browning, a second year student who smokes, thinks it's a positive change, but says it takes away some freedom.

"It used to be an open campus and there's be ash trays everywhere and we could walk along campus and smoke smoke, and now we have to be in certain areas and it kind of takes the freedom away a little bit," she said.

Some say the smoking areas can even bring people together. Marian says she already made some new friends.

According to Whitey, the designated smoking areas will soon be covered. He hopes this happens before it starts to rain.