Glendale Community College campus goes smoke-free

When Glendale Community College students return from spring break on Monday, they will be greeted with a new warning: It's official, the campus is going smoke-free.

The ban won't go into effect until this fall, but a committee is working to spread the word among students this semester.

College trustee President Ann Ransford said additional resources for students interested in quitting will also be advertised.

"The plan is to market the issue, to put signs up on campus, so people know it's a smoke-free environment," she said.

Officials proposed turning the college into a non-smoking campus in March, much to the disdain of student smokers.

Unanimous approval by the board of trustees came during a board meeting this week.

Before voting, student trustee Arman Marukyan, 21, suggested the college withhold from voting until after students return from spring break, but his request failed to gain support.

Marukyan attempted to "represent the minority" and its right to smoke on campus, even though he is "not pro-smoking, whatsoever," he said.

"The minority still deserves to have a section," Marukyan said.

About two years ago, officials turned the college from an all-smoking campus to one with a handful of established locations for students to light up in between classes.

But college trustee Tony Tartaglia said the designated areas were merely a "compromise" that didn't serve the college.

"I think we gave this a good shot to try to find a compromise, and quite frankly, it didn't work," Tartaglia said, adding that campus enforcement officials are already spread too thin to continue cleaning up cigarette butts.

Interim Supt. Jim Riggs also supported the ban.

"You'll be joining nearly 1,200 colleges nationwide and a growing number in the state of California," he told the trustees after they cast their vote.

About 10 community colleges in California — most of them in San Diego County — have adopted no-smoking policies, according to the American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation.

Once the policy is enacted this fall, violators could be warned or cited $100.

Marukyan is already planning to spread the word through social media.

"People are going to have to adjust," he said.


Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.

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