Dear Campus Community,
Westchester Community College is proud
to announce our tobacco-free campus initiative, effective
January 1, 2012.
In doing so, we are joining all CUNY colleges and more than 360
U.S. colleges and universities in providing a tobacco-free
campus. In enacting this initiative, WCC is supporting a
culture of respect for all members of the campus community,
visitors, the environment, and institutional sustainability
We also hope to set an example that will encourage the WCC
community to embrace a spirit of health and wellness.
-President’s Advisory Committee for a Tobacco-Free Campus
Tobacco- Free Campus Policy
|On March 8, the college hosted a regional conference on the establishment of
“tobacco-free” college campuses. Ty Patterson, director of the National Center
for Tobacco Policy, discussed the college’s new policy which we are phasing in
Dr. Dan Seidman, director of Smoking
Cessation Services at Columbia University's Behavioral Medicine
Program, visited Westchester Community College in the spring of
2012. He discussed smoking cessation strategies.
Westchester Community College is proud to be a tobacco-free campus.
This policy was initiated primarily in response to the overwhelming
scientific and medical evidence indicating the serious health risks of
second hand smoke. On January 1, 2012, we began asking for
voluntary compliance of the new policy; the policy will be strictly
enforced starting on September 1, 2012.
Please help us celebrate this decision to join the more than 360
U.S. colleges and universities who are proud to be tobacco-free. We hope to
set an example that will encourage others to embrace the spirit of health
and wellness in our community.
To ensure that all Westchester Community College facilities and
properties are tobacco-free in an effort to provide the faculty, staff,
students and visitors with a healthy, respectful working and learning
environment. This policy applies to all students, employees (faculty, staff,
and administrators), visitors, vendors and contractors.
Tobacco use is prohibited in all Westchester Community College
facilities and outdoor areas.
The preponderance of evidence and the trends reflected in that
evidence all indicate that tobacco use, smoking and exposure to second hand
tobacco smoke are significant health hazards. Under the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) Guidelines, second hand smoke is a Group A
carcinogen (cancer-causing agent), known to cause heart disease, cancer,
respiratory issues and irritation of the eyes and nose.
Westchester Community College has been, and continues to be,
committed to the health and well-being of its staff, faculty, administrators
and students. The college not only has a vested interest in the
vitality of its students and those who administer and operate programs here,
but also a role to play in the promotion and advancement of the general
health of our society as a whole.
Out of respect for the environment and in keeping with Westchester
Community College’s commitment to protect the health of its employees,
students, visitors and all other constituencies, effective January 1, 2012,
Westchester Community college became a Tobacco-Free institution. No
consumption of tobacco, or tobacco products, is permitted on any college
property or in any college facility; this includes but is not limited to all
buildings, grounds, pathways and thoroughfares within the campus property.
The sale or sample distribution of cigarettes or other tobacco products are
We eased into this policy during the spring 2012 semester during a
transitional period of gradual compliance, education, and understanding.
As a community, we are all responsible for providing a healthy,
tobacco-free environment at the college. This is not solely the
responsibility of the security officers. We do not expect our security staff
to be the only individuals who will be part of the informational campaign.
We should all be part of the effort to educate individuals about this new
Meanwhile, for now, we have some suggestions for faculty, staff and
When discussing the
policy with smokers, please be friendly and positive. Do not forget, you
are talking to a fellow employee or student. Please be respectful at all
Please do not be
confrontational if you see someone smoking. Instead, simply and politely
remind the individual of the new policy. You may also suggest they go to
the college website for details including online resources for those who
want to quit smoking.
Do not request that a
smoker put out his/her cigarette. Simply and politely remind smokers
about the new policy and ask for their cooperation in observing it.
Do not approach
individuals smoking in their cars.
The spring semester
was an opportunity for smokers to begin adjusting their habits and was a
good time to consider a smoking cessation program. The college offered a
variety of educational events and workshops for those seeking to stop
smoking. Although encouraging individuals to stop smoking is not our
primary goal, we believe this new policy offers smokers an opportunity
If you are a smoker
interested in quitting, you can get assistance at the New York State
Smokers Quitline, 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) or you can find
We all should realize
that it is difficult to quit smoking. Some individuals have been smoking
for years, or even decades. Quitting takes time and we all need to be
aware of this. The policy was first publicized in the spring of 2011 and
will not be strictly enforced until the fall of 2012. Ultimately,
smokers will have had more than a year to adjust to the new policy.
Organizers of public
events on campus are responsible for communicating this policy to attendees.
staff and administrators have a mutual responsibility to share in the
enforcement of this policy. Individuals found in violation are to be
reminded in a professional and courteous manner of the college policy.
Enforcement: As of September 1,
2012, the following tobacco policy will be strictly enforced:
All staff, faculty and administrators who notice someone smoking or
using tobacco products are encouraged to politely communicate news of the
new policy to smokers. If the individual is confrontational, or is a repeat
offender, Security or the administrator in charge of the nearest building
should be notified.
In the case of employees using tobacco, the individual’s supervisor
will be contacted by Security or the building administrator, and all
violations will be handled by the
employee’s supervisor in conjunction with Human Resources on a case by case
basis. If someone is smoking, all employees are encouraged to politely
communicate news of the policy to that individual. If the individual is
confrontational, or if that person is a repeat offender, Security or the
administrator in charge of the nearest building should be contacted.
Violations of the policy will be dealt with in the same manner as violations
of other college policies. If a complainant makes a report or if a
supervisor independently observes such behavior, the supervisor shall take
the appropriate action. The severity of the action chosen will depend on the
circumstances of each case. In such action, the full range of disciplinary
sanctions will be available up to and including dismissal from the college.
Violations by students should be reported to Security or to the
administrator in charge of the nearest building. Security or the
administrator will refer the student to the Student Development Office where
the student will be required to discuss this Code of Conduct violation and
possible sanctions. These sanctions could range from community service to
disciplinary probation or suspension.
Visitors who violate the Tobacco-Free Policy will be informed that
Westchester Community College is a tobacco-free campus. Visitors who
continue to violate the policy following a warning will be escorted off
campus. Westchester Community College reserves the right to initiate a
progressive disciplinary process against any individual found to be in
violation of this policy.
The act of using any tobacco product in any college facility or outdoor
area, including but not limited to: chewing tobacco, smokeless tobacco, and
the act of smoking or carrying a lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe or any other
smoking material or device.
Westchester Community College
Any facility or property that is owned, leased, used or
occupied by the college, including but not limited to: private offices,
lounges, dining areas, recreational facilities, storage areas, service
shops, garages, sidewalks, facilities operations areas, athletic facilities,
all college vehicles (owned or leased), and personally owned and rented
vehicles when used to transport college faculty, staff, students and
administrators on any college-related business, academic or student life
activities. Outdoor Areas: Any Westchester Community College outdoor
area that is open to access by the public or campus community, including but
not limited to parking lots, sidewalks, athletic fields, lawn areas and any
college facility entrance or egress.