CCC Journalism Program

By Anthony Bonfiglio

Camden County College has many campus rules, but none seem to be more disregarded then the college’s anti-smoking policy.

As of July, 1 2009, all three of CCC’s campuses became smoke free. According to the college website, these rules are being enforced because it is ” our obligation to provide the healthiest environment for students, employees and visitors.”

A $25 fine is issued to any student who is caught, and a $50 fine is issued to repeat offenders. Teachers are subjected to disciplinary action and are closely monitored after any offense.

Andrew Loewenstern, 20, recently quit smoking, but when he smoked, he says he was never approached by a member of the campus security.

“I haven’t been caught either, but I have heard about a lot of stories of people getting warnings,” Loewenstern said about getting a fine for smoking.

No security guard was able to answer questions about the smoking policy and the Public Safety Department, which declined comment.

A handout clearly states that any offenders will be charged with a fine but it seems students are sometimes getting off with warnings.

“I don’t think that people should be penalized for smoking when they are paying a lot of money to go to school,” Loewenstern states about the fine.

Loewenstern suggested the idea of a designated smoking area on campus that will allow students to smoke without the possible punishment and fine.

Carmine Valentino, 22, a former Camden County student, had some choice words for the anti-smoking policy. “I can’t believe they’re still enforcing it,” he said. “It’s not like students are smoking in the classrooms.”

Valentino also supports a designated smoking area because “smoking is an major part in many people’s lives and it’s not something they can just go without for long periods at a time.”

The addictive nature behind tobacco products seems to be the driving force behind students smoking on campus, and it seems that students would be open to a compromise with the college regarding its smoking policy.

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