De Anza students express support for smoke-free campus

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Almost two years after student leaders at De Anza College called for the Cupertino campus to be 100% vape- and smoke-free, on- and off-campus groups teamed up to push for the adoption of a formal “no smoking” policy.

Members of Clean Air De Anza (CADA), a campus student organization, and Asian Pacific Islander Coalition for Health Against Tobacco (API-CHAT) distributed information Jan. 19 about a 100% smoke-free campus policy at De Anza’s Hinson Campus Center.

“We are educating students on the benefits of a 100% smoke-free campus, similar to the policy already enacted by a majority of California community colleges and all UC and CSU campuses,” Owen Wise-Pierik, API-CHAT’s community engagement coordinator, said in a statement. “This policy has been passed by De Anza’s Student Senate and Academic Senate but has yet to be adopted as official policy.”

The De Anza Associated Student Body Senate voted on Feb. 1, 2021, to endorse a resolution calling for the removal of designated smoking areas on the De Anza College campus. The resolution also calls for De Anza to be a 100% smoke- and vape-free campus.

The resolution states that a 2019 survey found 70% of students have been exposed to secondhand cigarette and vape smoke on campus. According to the survey, 29% of students favored a smoke-free campus, and 37% wanted to see just one designated smoking area on the college grounds.

The senate resolution also points out that all UC and CSU campuses are completely smoke-free, compared to only 52% of California Community College campuses in 2021. That number has since increased to 62%.
The De Anza Academic Senate, representing faculty, voted to support a 100% smoke- and tobacco-free policy in November 2018. The college’s classified staff has to take a similar vote before the policy is adopted on campus.

Wise-Pierik and fellow API-CHAT staffer Tanya Payyappilly manned the information table on Jan. 19, handing out information such as the California College and University Smoke/Tobacco-Free Policy Report Card, the senate resolution and the De Anza Campus Tobacco Survey Report. They also provided students with information about quitting vaping and tobacco, offering students “quit kits.”

“Many students walking through the cafeteria at Hinson Campus Center for lunch stopped to speak with the organizers, pick up printed materials and sign up to support the policy and volunteer with future events,” the statement reads.

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