The Austin Community College District Board of Trustees voted October 3 to implement a smoke-free policy for all campuses and facilities. The change takes effect January 2, 2012.
“We are committed to maintaining a healthy and safe environment for our students and employees,” says Dr. Barbara Mink, chair of the college’s Board of Trustees. “ACC joins a growing number of Texas colleges and universities taking this step. It makes sense for us from both health and financial perspectives.”
A college committee considered designating smoking areas on each ACC property, but costly facility improvements would have been required in order to comply with legal mandates; state budget cuts made such projects unfeasible at this time.
ACC is already smoke-free inside buildings. The policy also prohibits the use of smoke-producing tobacco on college grounds and in ACC-owned vehicles.
“ACC understands there are great challenges for people who want to stop smoking,” says Dr. Mary Hensley, executive vice president of college operations. “We plan to hold smoking cessation workshops and make sure students and employees are aware of other resources available to them.”
College administration will develop a process to implement the policy, including provisions for notification, signage, complaint procedures, and enforcement.
The board’s action also prohibits tobacco-related advertising and sponsorships at ACC events and in college publications.
The text of the policy is below.
Board Policy C-10. Safe and Healthy Teaching and Learning Environment
Given these values, the Austin Community College District shall:
1. Establish and maintain a smoke-free environment for all College District facilities.
1.1 The College District prohibits the use, distribution, and/or sale of smoke-producing tobacco and related products and devices by any person on all premises owned, rented, leased, or supervised by the College District, including all College District facilities, buildings, and grounds. This prohibition applies to property owned by others that the College District uses by agreement, and further applies to all District vehicles. The only exception to this total prohibition shall be in those circumstances where the College District is party to a contract or other agreement relating to the property that limits its authority in this regard.
1.2 The College District shall not solicit nor accept a grant, gift, or any item or service of value from a manufacturer, distributor, or retailer whose principal business is tobacco and/or tobacco-related products.
1.3 The College District prohibits all tobacco-related advertising or sponsorships on its property, at College-sponsored events, or in publications produced by the College District.
1.4 The College District may offer and promote prevention and education initiatives that support non-use or cessation of tobacco products and the understanding of risks associated with tobacco use.
1.5 The College District President/CEO shall develop administrative regulations and procedures as necessary to implement this policy, including provisions for notification, signage, disciplinary consequences, complaint procedures, and enforcement.
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