AUBURN, Wash. – Smoking anywhere on campus – even in your car – could be banned at Green River Community College.
GRCC would be the fourth Washington community college to enforce such a rule, if it’s passed later this month. The others are South Sound Community College in Olympia, Clark College in Vancouver and Lower Columbia College in Longview. Seattle Pacific University and Pacific Lutheran University, four-year schools, are also smoke-free.
The ban wouldn’t be limited to just inside buildings, but anywhere on campus. Even someone lighting up in the parking lot could be in trouble.
GRCC spokesperson Katie Rose said the potential policy change has come after numerous complaints.
“People who can’t concentrate, get headaches, and they’re here to get an education. So, if they can’t do that, we’re interfering with that,” said Rose.
The policy has been out for public comment all year on campus, but it is now in the formal review process. Rose said the vast majority of students support the idea, as well as parents who bring their kids on campus.
Some smokers and non-smokers on campus have opinions on the issue you might not expect.
"It'll basically help save money in the end because I won't be smoking as much. I won't have to buy as much," said smoker Daniel Cantor.
"If I don't like the smell, I move away from it. It's definitely not my place to tell somebody they can't smoke because I can't judge people for that," said non-smoker Bryant Kanold.
"Hopefully, if anything, it will stop people from smoking at an early age," said smoker Brandon Johnson. "I started really early. I wish I didn't pick it up."
GRCC’s president will decide at the end of June whether to approve the ban. The idea could also go back out for more public comment.
Information compiled by KING 5's Travis Pittman