Public hearing set for March 18 to discuss proposed college-wide smoking ban


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A current ashtray on the Ammerman campus at SCCC

By Taylor Alessi

A smoking ban on cigarettes on all three campuses of the College is being discussed.

A recent proposal seeks a ban on smoking on the Ammerman, Grant and Eastern campuses of the College. This idea was debated among the College Board of Trustees at a  meeting on Feb. 20,where trustees said  the ban will be positive for the students attending the college.

According to a Newsday article, 2,875 students and employees reacted and responded to a survey on smoking issues on all campuses.

“Almost 70 percent “strongly supported” or “somewhat supported” the community college becoming “completely tobacco- and smoke free,” the Newsday article stated.

“I believe the College Trustees see it as a health issue…that second hand smoke provides a danger to non-smoking students. Secondarily, there is a litter problem with there being cigarette butts being left all over the campuses,” said Inter-Governmental Relations Coordinator Benjamin Zwirn .

“The survey was overwhelming [sic] in favor of a more restricted smoking policy for SCCC. I think it’s reflective of the College Community in General,” Zwirn said when he was asked if 2,875 students and employees being interviewed was a fair number to base the college becoming a tobacco and smoke free zone.

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2,875 students and employees responded to a survey about College-wide smoking.

But some are offering alternative suggestions to the proposed College-wide smoking ban.

“There should be designated areas for smoking so non smokers aren’t irritated by it,” student David Dimarzo, a liberal arts major,  said. Dimarzo said he wasn’t for or against the ban, but he said he thinks that there should be restrictions on where the smokers can go on campus.

“Since the college is strictly a commuter school, I don’t think smoking should be banned on campus. Students come and go according to their own schedules so I think they should be able to smoke on their own schedule as well, as long as it is not in the buildings,” student Alyssa Meano, liberal arts major,  said.

The SUNY system is proposing that other scho0ls in the system will join in on banning smoking from campuses statewide. With the hopes of the ban passing, it is currently waiting for the legislature to approve it.

The ban is still under consideration, and waiting for approval from the Suffolk County Legislature. The next step will be a public hearing held  March 18.

A March 18 public hearing at the County Legislature in the William Rogers Legislative Auditorium in Hauppauge at 6:30 p.m. is scheduled.  Those who want more information regarding the ban can attend this hearing, which is open to the public.

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