Frequently Asked Questions
Cuyahoga Community College - 100% Tobacco-Free Policy
Why go tobacco-free?
Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) strives to foster a healthy and productive environment for all students, faculty, staff, vendors, prospective students and visitors. Cuyahoga Community College has joined the list of colleges and universities across the United States that have adopted a tobacco-free policy. Tri-C is nationally known and ranked for health careers education. Many Northeast Ohio health care providers prohibit smoking as a condition of employment. This policy helps students prepare for their careers.
When did Cuyahoga Community College go 100% tobacco-free?
August 8, 2016.
Is there state and federal support for Cuyahoga 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 will work toward becoming tobacco-free over the next year.
Are there any other colleges and universities that have a 100% tobacco-free policy?
As of July 1, 2015, there are at least 1,577 100% smoke-free campuses. Of these, 1,079 are 100% tobacco-free and 710 prohibit the use of e-cigarettes anywhere on campus. This number has grown from the 446 campuses with 100% smoke-free campus policies of which we were aware in October 2010 and 586 campuses in October 2011. We expect this number to continue to climb rapidly as a result of the growing social norm supporting smoke-free environments and support from within the academic community for such policies for 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 really 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 Tri-C, 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.
Permitted and Not Permitted Under the Policy
What does College-owned, operated and leased property include?
This means all College property operated as part of the College’s campuses, including: campus buildings, structures and facilities; parking structures and surface lots (including personal/private vehicles parked in College parking structures or on College surface lots); College vehicles; and ground areas. This also includes all off-campus College-owned or leased property or facilities operated by College staff or faculty in support of College administrative, teaching or other public service functions.
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 Cuyahoga Community College?
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 Tri-C 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.
Will it be okay to use smokeless tobacco such as chew?
All forms of tobacco are prohibited.
Will the use of hookahs and other devices for smoking tobacco be permitted?
Using hookahs or any other device to smoke tobacco is prohibited.
Are electronic cigarettes (e-cigs/vapes) permitted?
E-cigs/vapes 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.
Does the tobacco-free policy apply at College-sanctioned events or sporting activities occurring off College property?
The policy applies only to College-owned, operated and leased property. Events or activities scheduled elsewhere are bound by the policies or rules of the event coordinator or property manager.
Options for Tobacco Users
Are there resources to help employees and students quit using tobacco?
Yes. A comprehensive list of resources can be found on this website.
Can I go off campus during my breaks to smoke?
Hourly staff should be mindful of the length of their breaks in accordance with their department’s attendance policy. Employees should not trespass, loiter or litter on public or private property to smoke during breaks. Please respect the College’s neighbors. If you do not have time to walk off campus during your break, check out the cessation resources available to faculty, staff and student employees.
Can I extend my break or change the time of my break so I have time to walk off campus to smoke?
Breaks are usually timed to ensure business needs are met. The length and time of breaks cannot be changed to accommodate tobacco use. Refer to departmental policies and/or supervisors regarding options, if applicable. It is important to consistently and fairly apply policies and business practices.
Am I able to attend tobacco cessation sessions during paid work time?
Tri-C is supportive of tobacco users who desire to quit using tobacco products. Options for attending tobacco cessation sessions are based on the department’s business needs and may include flexible scheduling in accordance with the College’s paid leave and unpaid leave policies. Submit these requests for leave in a timely manner and schedule the time in a manner that is least disruptive to the administrative unit. Keep in mind there are various types of cessation resources. Approval for time away from work to participate in a cessation program is subject to approval by the department. Departments also may consider providing additional cessation resources and education to their faculty and staff.
What does 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.
Handling Concerns with Individuals Who Use Tobacco on Campus
How will Cuyahoga Community College enforce the tobacco-free policy?
Peer-to-peer support, supervisory oversight and voluntary compliance will be relied upon to lead to behavioral changes over time. Tobacco users who refuse to stop the activity or repeat offenders of the policy will be addressed through processes adapted for visitors, students, faculty and staff. The College will provide resources to support supervisors, students, faculty and staff with methods to address individuals in a respectful manner. The enforcement continuum will progress from education to warnings to applicable sanctions.
- Faculty and Staff: Addressed in the same manner as the College’s Corrective Action Procedure
- Students: Addressed in the same manner as any other Student Code of Conduct Violation
- Visitors: Addressed by Campus Police
How will the College handle employees who do not want to stop the use of tobacco products?
Faculty, staff and students are not required to stop using tobacco products. However, they will not be permitted to use tobacco products on any College property. Similar to regulations which prohibit smoking indoors, individuals must find ways to manage their need for nicotine in ways that do not involve using tobacco on College property.
What if I see someone using tobacco on College property?
Anyone who observes someone using tobacco while on College property may respectfully remind the individual of the College’s 100% Tobacco-Free Policy or inform Campus Police.
As a supervisor, what is my responsibility if I receive reports or observe an employee violating the policy?
You 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. You are encouraged to contact your College HR representative for help with how to address matters of non-compliance.
Where can I find additional information?
Additional information may be found on this website as it becomes available.