CNM not in compliance with smoking laws

Admin working on moving SSC/MS smoker’s area

By Nick Christian

Staff Reporter

CNM is in violation of Section five of the Dee Johnson Clean Indoor Air Act which is the prohibition of smoking near entrances, windows and ventilation systems, according to Chief Communications Officer Samantha Bousliman.

Resolving the issue is planned for the 2012-2013 project cycle; meaning, CNM will continue to be in non-compliance for the foreseeable year.

Currently CNM students cannot walk into the upper levels of the Student Services Center, Ken Chappy Hall, or the Max Salazar building without traversing through the smoke saturated area nestled between the three buildings, said Bousliman.

The issue was addressed and opened to discussion during the inaugural State of the Master Plan event held within the Richard Barr room at the Student Resource Center. Bousliman told the audience of the non-compliance and asked for suggestions on how to resolve it.

“The Dee Johnson Clean Air Act requires us, as a public institution, to provide students, and faculty and staff, access to our buildings without walking through smoke,” said Bousliman. “We know we are not in compliance in that area.”

 Bousliman would go on to say that it is almost impossible for CNM to be in compliance without making the area a smoke-free zone.

Section five of the Dee Johnson Clean Air Act states, “An individual who owns, manages, operates or otherwise controls the use of any premises subject to the provisions of the Dee Johnson Clean Indoor Air Act shall establish a smoke free area that extends a reasonable distance from any entrances, windows and ventilation systems to any enclosed areas where smoking is prohibited. The reasonable distance shall be a distance sufficient to ensure that persons entering or leaving the building or facility shall not be subjected to breathing tobacco smoke and to ensure that tobacco smoke does not enter the building or facility through entrances, windows, ventilation systems or any other means.”

However, the issue is more than just the harmful effects of smoking. CNM is currently observing the “unsavory behavior,” a shortage of bike racks, and an issue of maintaining the area due to the high traffic between Max Salazar, Ken Chappy and the Student Services Center, according to Bousliman. At this stage, CNM is planning extra parking for bicycles and more student space.

Once the project is completed, the area would be the first smoke free zone on campus, said Bousliman.

“It will be required for the faculty, staff and students, to take on that role that we have, each to enforce the smoking policy,” said Bousliman. Some students said they were ok with the changes.

“They could make it smoke-free and more away from the building so people can go further away to smoke,” said CNM student Bianca Gallegos.

“It wouldn’t matter to me, because I don’t like going over there,” said CNM student Nicole Lujan.


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