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ACC Going Smoke-Free in 2012

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

Value Statements:

  • The Austin Community College District is committed to maintaining a safe, healthy, and productive teaching and learning environment for faculty, staff, and students.
  • The Austin Community College District seeks to support and promote good health practices for employees and students.

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.

posted in: ACC Homepage Announcements, ACC Newsroom, Banner Stories, Current Students, Current Students Feature, Official ACC Press Releases


184 Responses to “ACC Going Smoke-Free in 2012”

  1. Michelle Erickson says:

    I am so happy that this policy was put into place. I am very disappointed to see that so many pursuing higher education feel that it is their right to harm others in public places. Feel free to smoke as much as you want in your cars, homes, or any other private property. You don’t have the right to endanger my health.

  2. Mellissa says:

    People are going to smoke NO matter what. I am a cigarette smoker but I do want to quit. I would love the resources or even the encouragement of “hey you can do it” it is a VERY hard habit to kick but I will do it one day. IT JUST REALLY SUCKS THAT ACC WILL TAKE AWAY WITH THE SMOKING AREA…. :(

  3. Me says:

    I think this is crazy. People who do smoke absolutly know how offensive it is to others who do not. That is exactlly why there are smoking areas and smokers abide with that…smokers arent trying to hurt others in thier own harmful proccess so why act like they are? People smoke, people love same sex, people do crazy things, but as far as im concerned I have seen many smokers on my campus abide fully to the rules of smoking on campus. Another question…are these cesation workshops free?!! Because to deny someone of their rights, without an acceptable alternative is tyrany.

  4. c says:

    The cigarette smoke does not go only three feet far, it goes farther than that. I want to go sit outside but when i go out there, i cant breathe so i come inside and cant even sit anywhere near doors less than ten feet away because i can smell the cigarette smokeinside too. So i have to move which i shouldnt have to put more energy and effort to get away from the smoke, the smoke is supposed to get away from the campus.

  5. Miguel says:

    It was time.. Great news!

  6. Bill says:

    Thank you ACC. As a veteran lung Cancer survivor with only 1 lung left, I applaud your decision. Air is precious enough without it being filled with second-hand smoke.

  7. just a thought says:

    “Offensive language and behaviors are addressed under the Student Code of Conduct.”
    If you read carefully, it looks like this ACC administrative rule will have to be changed too!

    Maybe it is time to be more aware that “toxic/unhealthy” applies to many areas: behaviors, comments, substances, ideas, even thoughts, and that alienating others can be viewed as toxic and unhealthy ……. so it looks like everyone is producing some “second hand smoke” from these activities …. maybe there should be yet another regulation enforced….. until then, let the wind take care of it!

  8. Happy says:

    Well the smokers are all unhappy about this, but the rest of us are literally breathing a sigh of relief. Smokers must realize that they are not just harming themselves but also making the rest of us smell it every day. If we had a large problem of students who wore too much perfume or refused to bathe and stank up the place, people would want that addressed too. Although perfume is not like smoking because it doesn’t harm the person using it, I am using this as an example because I don’t think smokers really know how offensive their nasty smoke is. They are angry because their “rights” are being taken away. What about my right to breathe fresh air outside?

  9. ACCstudent45 says:

    Kuddos ACC. It may be a right/choice to smoke but I also have a right and choose to not smell cigarette smoke but unfortunately the stench travels. And while most doorways have a sign that reads you can’t smoke within 15 feet of it there is usually a group or an individual standing right next to it smoking. You may want to kill yourself by smoking but I shouldn’t have to worry about the the second hand smoke killing me. Smoke in your car.

  10. catherine says:

    it is just so insane how alot of people who are smokers do not have respect for non-smokers. there are over 7000 chemicals in each cigarette and it is so obnoxious and ignorant to actually sit there and smoke like its okay because its not. It is wrong for many reasons so therefore ACC should prohibit smoking on campus because its not fair to non smokers who have to stay cooped up inside just to stay away from the dangers of cigarette smoke. if you want to kill yourself and enjoy the harmful dangers of cigarettes then fine, have respect for the other people around you and move somewhere else so that you do not harm the other peoples health with over 7000 chemicals from your cigarette. smokers have to understand that its not fair or right or easy that non smokers have to get up and move just because someone else doesnt have the common sense or respect for other people, just because they want to smoke.

  11. You says:

    Thank you ACC!

  12. Stephanie says:

    Thank you ACC! I know this isn’t a popular decision, but it needed to be made. The smoke on campus is imossible to get away from, and I’m tired of smelling smoke on myself all day or having to hold my breath when I go to class just because everyone smokes right by the doors. They are not making these rules to take away freedom, they are doing it to try to make things better. Maybe it isn’t the perfect solution, but it’s a start.

  13. Tov says:

    One of my parents decided to stop smoking while he was taking a heavy load of classes and he just about flunked out in the process. Why? Because smoking wasn’t just a habit… it was also his moment of relaxation. A meditation, if you will. You can’t just take something like that away, and expect smokers to be “happier and healthier.” His solution was not to “quit smoking” but to moderate his smoking to where he was only smoking a couple of cigarettes a day. Which made him “healthier and happier.” This policy is just going to increase the stress of people who are already trying to balance school, children, and work. I can already imagine what my sociology professor will say about this: Thanks for reinventing class warfare acc trustees.

  14. nick brannan says:

    How ridiculous, oh i cant breathe somebody is smoking…MOVE AWAY! one by one rights are being taken away from people. nazis

  15. ACC Observer says:

    Offensive language and behaviors are addressed under the Student Code of Conduct.

    http://www.austincc.edu/admrule/1.04.006.htm

  16. D says:

    Stay OUT of the students lives. this is idiotic. Students should be able to make thier own choices. they have the right to smoke. anyone realize that the smoke dissipates within 3 feet. so if you dont wanna smell it dont walk next to the smokers. and if you cant figure that out you should not be in college.

  17. Missing my Rights! says:

    It’s interesting that everyone is willing to trample on someone else’s right to choose to participate in a perfectly legal activity, because there are some that find it offensive. I would like to request that ACC implement a policy against offensive language and behaviors in other ways as well. If we are going to prohibit smoking, we must prohibit unhealthy foods, prohibit unhealthy beverages, like soda, coffee, and energy drinks. We must implement a place for students to go and list all of the behaviors they find offensive, so that policies can be made to prohibit them! When does this stop? Are we going to start burning books that offend us, or aren’t healthy for us? Like it or not, we as Americans, have the right to choose behaviors that aren’t healthy. Regulation is one thing, and quite an acceptable alternative, prohibition is NOT!!!!!

  18. Beckez says:

    I am not a smoker but my concern is that there are many students who have problems feeling able, worthy, accepted and motivated to attend college. People who are just trying to get an associates so they can have a slightly higher standard of living, who are struggling to get an education as it is. This seems like one more reason for them to stay away. It feels like an SES (socio-economic-status) problem to me.

  19. S says:

    This is Stupid!!! So much for a free country. Yes i smoke and if you dont wanna smell it dont stand by me there are plenty of places to be without people smoking around you. This is a college not a high school. If smoking is done outside its not noticeable unless you stand right next to the so quit whining and crying and take a few more steps so your not next to the smoker. If you cant breath when you smell smoke its probably because your a whimp.

  20. Anthony says:

    ok now for my second thought. How is this for a healthier school? Most of the people who smoke have been doing so for a long period of time in their life and now it has become more of a stability, therapeutic habit. Veterans smoke to help clear their mind and stay focused and here goes the governing body making these decisions with no facts about how this will help lead to a healthier place. If we smoke, we know the health risk. It’s like riding a motor cycle with no helmet, we know what’s at risk when we do it

  21. Anthony says:

    this is stupid. the people complaining that now they can FINALLY walk to and from classes without suffering through smelling tobacco is stupid too. Your classes are indoors so you don’t have to smell anything. Where was the student involvement in this decision? Makes no sense what so ever. When you’re outdoors, if you don’t want to be bothered by smokers, well move to where there are no smokers. How much money would it cost to implement these Designated Smoking Areas because I’ve seen a few of these around campus and all it is, is just one sign that says DSA and one place beside the sign to put the cigarette out so honestly that can’t cost too much. The people who thought of this are probably the same people saying that we should not allow guns on campus even with students and employees who are holders of a CHL.

  22. just a thought says:

    Well, maybe this means we will have no more excuses to be able to “breathe, study, be, exists, breath while walking, etc” and this will translate into more committed, healthier, happier students (that by 2012 will also not use drugs or alcohol) and a more understanding and tolerable people.
    I am so relieved cigarette smoke does not burn in colors…..

  23. duck says:

    i don’t think that people who smoke know how offensive it is to a non-smoker. i have thought that smokers should be limited to smoking in the parking lot since i’ve been at ACC, because who really follows the no smoking signs anyway? ppl light up right under them! i think this is a step in the right direction. i’m allergic to smoke, but what can i do about it? not go to school? not leave my house? it is what it is.

  24. Stephen says:

    I do agree that this isn’t fair to smoking students but I also have a question. Since Electric Cigarettes are around and don’t actually use tobacco but rather a nicotine fluid(or just a flavored fluid), are they also not allowed on campus? They don’t leave a foul odor in the air and they cant start a fire since its works with water vapors essentially.

  25. Kenny M. says:

    Just another case of a handful of people trying to control the lives of others. The Board of Directors have always asked for input with this subject in the past. Why not now?
    The money involved to create designated smoking areas is not an issue. This would be quite minimal compared to the normal daily expenditures at ACC. We already have DSA`s at several locations.
    I have, often, compared the administrative operations of ACC to that of Washington D.C. The stripping of our freedoms is one of the greatest threats to our society. Individual choice must be preserved.
    The Board of Directors is acting without input from faculty, staff, and students.
    We cannot allow this to happen!

  26. K says:

    This is GREAT! Now I can sit outside without having someone can sit next to me and light up a cig! Thanks!!

  27. Pamela Tajmajer says:

    Finally. I am so relieved I’ll be able to breath while I’m walking from class to class. I’m even going to be able to sit outside at a table and enjoy fresh air! Thank you!

  28. Lauren says:

    Not only do I appreciate ACC’s attempt to create a healthier environment. I am allergic to cigarette smoke, and the smoking has created a very limited environment for me. I am thrilled that I will be able to enjoy the beautiful day, study outside, and not be cooped up in the non-smoking building during my time on campus. Thank you!!!!

  29. Rachael says:

    Alright, ACC- This is AWESOME! Way to lead the movement, Austin-style!

  30. Harlequin says:

    This is ridiculous. We have a smoking spot. Move us further. Who gives you the right? I do believe we live in the United States of America and our high tobacco taxes pay for a part of this school. And really, what does this mean:
    “…but costly facility improvements would have been required in order to comply with legal mandates…”
    A yellow line that puts us in a corner that says we need to smoke there? That does not cost much. Ridiculous!!!!!!!!!!

  31. concerned student says:

    Although, in my opinion a smoke free campus is not so terrible…where is the students voice in this decision making? I am dual enrolled, and attend a university that just went smoke free. Within the process the Student Government was involved, and students given the chance to speak out or atleast have some say in what is happening to their college. I say THEIR college because it is because of student that the college exist in the first place. Without students, there is no ACC. The Board does a marvelous job in ensuring that ACC is top notch in many ways, however, in this case, it would have been beneficial to hear the students voice on this one! Here’s a thought: What if students went to your place of enjoyment, workplace, or home and began making changes without anyone else input? Would that be O.K.? I think not! Dear Administration, Remember the students in your decision making processes…afterall…this is THEIR house!

  32. Laura says:

    I really find this unfair. I smoked for 20 plus years before quitting. I do not like the smell or the health implications. Yet to tell students, employees and visitors they can not smoke in the parking lot in their own vehicle or at the back fenced areas where no others are walking or around? Really? There are lots of people who would quit but they like it, I know this because that was my biggest obstacle, I enjoyed it. How again is this a free country? Sad sad days and more regulations to come. Wow!

  33. Susan Nichols/FBG says:

    Yea!!!!

  34. Thanh Dat NGUYEN says:

    thank you because it really does make it hard to enjoy being able to sit outside or in the hallways during break and have to smell cigarette smoke and cant breathe