When will Lorain County Community College go 100% tobacco-free?
August 1, 2017.
Is there state and federal support for Lorain County Community College becoming tobacco-free?
The Ohio Board of Regents recently passed a resolution encouraging higher education institutions to become tobacco-free. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is sponsoring a national initiative to eliminate tobacco use on college campuses. It is expected that hundreds more U.S. colleges and universities across the nation will work toward becoming tobacco-free over the next year. The policy follows a grant from Truth Initiative, the national public health organization responsible for the national truth® smoking prevention campaign. The grant was awarded to support the College’s efforts to create a tobacco-free environment.
Are there any other colleges and universities that have a 100% tobacco-free policy?
LCCC’s efforts are part of a growing state and national movement to clean the air on campuses. As of April 3, 2017, there are now at least 1,827 100% smoke-free campuses. Of these, 1,536 are also 100% tobacco-free, 1,400 also prohibit e-cigarette use, and 120 also prohibit smoking/vaping marijuana. This number has grown from the 446 campuses with 100% smoke-free campus policies of which we were aware of in October 2010. We expect this number to continue to climb rapidly as a result of the growing social norm supporting smoke- and tobacco-free environments, and support from within the academic community for such policies to improve campus health and well-being.
How does adopting a 100% tobacco-free policy clean up the environment?
Environmental tobacco exposes bystanders to numerous harmful chemicals. Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world. About 1.7 billion pounds of cigarette butts are littered worldwide every day. Cigarette butts are a fire hazard, increase college maintenance expenses and can be eaten by dogs, birds and other animals. Filters are non-biodegradable and can take five to ten years to decompose. Chemicals (hydrogen, cyanide, arsenic, etc.) in cigarette butts leak into the soil and water.
Why not allow people to smoke outdoors? Is there really a health risk?
Yes, there is a health risk. The Surgeon General has found there is no safe level of second-hand smoke. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, second-hand smoke contains more than 4,000 substances, several of which are known to cause cancer in humans and animals. At LCCC, it is imperative that we consider the impact of tobacco on the health and well-being of our faculty, staff, students, prospective students, parents, vendors and visitors.
What is included in the term tobacco?
Tobacco is defined as all tobacco-derived or containing products, including and not limited to: cigarettes (clove, bidis, kreteks, etc.); electronic cigarettes; vapes; cigars and cigarillos; hookah smoked products; pipes; oral tobacco (spit and spitless, smokeless, chew, snuff); and nasal tobacco (snus). It also includes any product intended to mimic tobacco products, contain tobacco flavoring or deliver nicotine other than for the purpose of cessation.
Is abstaining from tobacco a condition of employment at LCCC?
No, it is not a condition of employment. Tobacco products are just not permissible for use while on College property.
As an employee or student, do I need to quit using tobacco in order to be in compliance with this policy?
No, you do not have to quit using tobacco in your personal time. This policy applies only to tobacco use while on College property.
Is it my right to use tobacco? Does LCCC have the right to tell me I cannot use tobacco products on College property?
The College has a responsibility to establish policies that positively affect the health and well-being of all students, faculty, staff, vendors and visitors. A tobacco-free policy does not prohibit tobacco use; it merely establishes where use can and cannot occur. Tobacco is legal for adults to purchase and consume.
Are electronic cigarettes (e-cigs/vapes) permitted?
E-cigs/vapes, and any other smoking-simulating devices are not permitted.
Can I use tobacco in my personal vehicle while on College property?
No. Use of tobacco in your personal vehicle is not permitted while on College property.
What will the College do about people leaving the campus or going across the street into neighboring properties to smoke?
While the policy only applies to College-owned, operated and leased properties, we ask that students, faculty, staff, vendors and visitors help maintain a positive relationship with our neighbors and respect neighboring properties outside our campuses. Leaving campus to use tobacco or smoke does not give anyone permission to litter, loiter or trespass on private or public property. Property owners have the right to enforce their boundaries.
How will this policy be enforced?
It is essential that all members of our community work together to eliminate tobacco use on our campus. Every member of the LCCC community is responsible for observing the policy and encouraging a tobacco-free campus. All of us are encouraged to respectfully explain that tobacco use is not permitted on campus to any persons observed not complying with the policy. LCCC’s primary goal is to achieve 100% voluntary compliance with the tobacco-free campus policy by educating students, faculty, staff, and visitors about the policy. Voluntary compliance is strongly preferred; however, it should be noted that the policy will be enforced. Violation of this policy could result in disciplinary actions.
While enforcing the tobacco-free campus policy, campus officials and members of the campus community are encouraged to be friendly and respectful. Discussions about the revised tobacco policy should be brief, educational, and non-confrontational. However, reported blatant and chronic violations are subject to established disciplinary protocols applicable to faculty, staff, and students.
Anyone who observes someone using tobacco while on College property may respectfully remind the individual of the College’s 100% Tobacco-Free Policy, inform Campus Security, and/or submit an incident report form at https://www.lorainccc.edu/security/online-statement-form/. From these reports HPER Programs and Campus Security will identify locations on campus where people are noncompliant to proactively enforce the policy.
As a supervisor, what is my responsibility if I receive reports or observe an employee violating the policy?
Supervisors are empowered to hold employees accountable to College policy expectations. First, explain the expectations outlined in the policy and provide appropriate resources. If there are continued violations, identify the impact of the employee’s actions and manage it appropriately. Supervisors are encouraged to contact LCCC’s Human Resources for help with how to address matters of non-compliance.
What should I do if I see someone smoking or using tobacco on campus?
Members of the campus community who see individuals using tobacco on campus are asked to inform these individuals politely that the LCCC policy prohibits tobacco use anywhere on campus grounds. Tobacco-free campus courtesy cards with LCCC’s tobacco-free campus messaging are available at Campus Security, LC 109 and HPER Programs, PE 104. We expect all members of the campus community to treat each other with dignity and respect, support each other, and embrace a spirit of having a healthy living, learning, and working environment.
If I chose to, what should I say to someone I see violating the 100% tobacco-free campus policy?
The following are suggested scripted messages others are encouraged to say when encountering someone using tobacco on campus.
Example Script #1
Situation: You see a person using tobacco products on LCCC property.
Response: “Hello, my name is _______, and I am an (employee, student) here at LCCC. I want to make you aware that we are now a 100% tobacco-free campus … meaning that tobacco products are prohibited on our grounds. We would appreciate if you would not use tobacco products while on campus. Thank you for your cooperation.”
Example Script #2
Question: “Where am I allowed to smoke?”
Response: “Smoking and other tobacco products/smoking simulating devices are not allowed anywhere on the LCCC campus. This policy is meant to promote respect for all members of the campus community and better health for our students and employees. If you need to smoke or use tobacco products, you will need to leave the campus grounds although the main traffic thoroughfares through our campus are not included in the restricted areas.
Example Script #3
For Vendors and Visitors: “I’d like to let you know in advance that the LCCC campus is a tobacco-free environment as of fall semester 2017. The use of tobacco products or any smoking simulating device is not permitted on any property, grounds, or parking areas. Thank you for respecting our policy.”
For more information or I you would like to become a tobacco-free campus ambassador, please e-mail Dr. Lisa Augustine at email@example.com.