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Tobacco-Free Campus FAQ

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Healthy Campus Policy 

   

Frequently Asked Questions

   
 
Q. What is the Healthy Campus policy?
A. The Healthy Campus Policy is the first step toward creating a Clean, Green, Safe and Healthy environment at the City Colleges of Chicago. The first component of the Healthy Campus Policy includes the implementation of a tobacco-free environment – District wide. As we develop the Healthy Campus Policy, other initiatives will include healthy and affordable food choices, green initiatives and healthy activities.
   

Q. When does the Healthy Campus policy start?
A. The Healthy Campus policy resolution was passed on January 12, 2012, and becomes enforceable on March 1, 2012 District wide.   
   

Q. Whom does this policy affect?
A. The policy applies to all individuals including students, faculty, staff, administrators, visitors, vendors or anyone who comes to any City Colleges of Chicago campus, Satellite location or the District Office.

Q. What are the benefits to a Healthy Campus?   
A. A Healthy campus protects the health of nonsmoking students, faculty, staff and visitors while providing an environment conducive to tobacco users who are working to either quit or cut back on their use of tobacco. A tobacco-free campus is expected to have a substantially greater effect on tobacco consumption than current policies that permit smoking in designated areas. The benefits of the Tobacco-Free Healthy Campus Policy are diverse and include:   
  • A healthier campus for students, faculty, staff and visitors
  • Improved air quality
  • Increased productivity for students, faculty and staff
  • Lower costs of medical expenditures associated with tobacco use
  • Lower consumption rates among non-quitters
  • Improved success in long-range tobacco cessation
   
 
Q. How will students, faculty and staff be made aware of the policy?
A. The City Colleges of Chicago students will be made aware of the Healthy Campus Policy through various media outlets such as student emails, posters, campus signage, campus broadcast on WKKC radio and television, Facebook, twitter, Wellness Center, the City Colleges website and campus newspaper and various other media. Faculty and staff will be made aware of the Healthy Campus policy through an informational letter, presentations, website, email, Facebook, twitter and other media. Information will be available in employee wellness and Human Resources and through the Healthy campus signage that will be posted.   
   

Q. Was the District Student Government Association consulted prior to implementing this policy?
A. Yes. The District wide Student Government Association voted to support the Healthy Campus Policy unanimously.   
   

Q. Does the City Colleges of Chicago already have a smoke-free policy? How is this different from our current policy?
A. Yes. Currently, smoking is permitted in designated locations, and at least 15 feet away from any entryway. Smoking in buildings has long been prohibited. The new Healthy Campus Policy is intended to promote a Clean, Green, Safe and Healthier environment by prohibiting the use of all tobacco products anywhere on property owned or leased by the City Colleges of Chicago.   
   

Q. Where can I smoke?
A. Smoking is only allowed offsite on any grounds not owned by the City Colleges of Chicago. The Healthy Campus Policy prohibits the smoking of, or use of, any tobacco products (including, but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, snuff, chewing tobacco, and non-FDA approved nicotine delivery devices, such as e-cigarettes) anywhere on a City Colleges of Chicago campus, Satellite location or District office. The Healthy Campus Policy also prohibits the use of tobacco products on all campus grounds – including the parking lot. Smoking is also prohibited in all college owned or leased vehicles and at all college sponsored events.   
   

Q. Are there any designated smoking areas for students, faculty, staff and visitors?
A. No. Providing a designated place to smoke does not support the Healthy Campus Policy to create a healthier campus for our students, faculty, staff and visitors.   
   

Q. Is the Healthy campus policy a violation of my civil rights?
A. No. The Trustees of the City Colleges of Chicago have the authority to govern the use of college property and regulate its use.   
   

Q. Is it a person's right to use tobacco?
A. Yes. Tobacco is still a legal product for adults. From the survey results, about 1 out of 10 persons at the City Colleges of Chicago uses tobacco. The City Colleges of Chicago will not try to force anyone to quit tobacco use entirely. However, the City Colleges of Chicago will continue to set Healthy policies regarding activity on our premises and to create a Clean, Green, Safe and Healthy environment that we believe is in the best interest of the health and well-being of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors.   
   

Q. Why should tobacco users comply with the Healthy campus policy?
A. The City Colleges of Chicago is committed to providing a Clean, Green, Safe and Healthy place to learn and work for all members of the college community. We hope that tobacco users will be respectful of the right of their fellow members of the college community to be in a tobacco-free environment. We also hope that those who do not use tobacco products will remind violators of the tobacco-free policy in a courteous and respectful manner.   
   

Q. Why not ban other unhealthy substances, like high-fat foods?
A. The City Colleges of Chicago is continually seeking ways to create a Clean, Green, Safe and Healthier environment. We have added healthier food choices in our cafeterias and will continue to create a more sustainable environment through our recycling efforts and "green" efforts, to name a few examples. However, the health risks and damaging effects of second-hand smoke – far surpass those of other unhealthy substances. This is the first step of the Healthy Campus Policy; other initiatives such as healthier vending choices are forthcoming.   
   

Q. Does this policy apply to state or city owned roadways, sidewalks and right-of-ways?
A. No. The City Colleges of Chicago has no jurisdiction over the use of State or City-owned streets, sidewalks and right-of-ways that do not run through a City Colleges of Chicago property.   
   

Q. Can visitors smoke on our campus?
A. No. Visitors and guests are expected to comply with the City Colleges of Chicago policies the same as students, faculty and staff.   
   

Q. How will visitors be made aware of the policy?
A. Healthy campus signage will be posted to raise awareness that tobacco use is prohibited on a City Colleges of Chicago campus, Satellite location or District office. Additionally, we ask that the City College of Chicago community assist visitors by reminding them that the policy is in place. Healthy Campus reminder cards are available at various locations at the campus to give to visitors who may be violating the policy.   
   

Q. What happens if a visitor or guest violates the Healthy Campus Policy?
A. A guest or visitor will be informed by the Office of Safety and Security of the Policy and requested to comply or may be asked to leave the campus.   
   

Q. How will the Healthy Campus Policy be enforced and who will be responsible for enforcement?
A. Enforcement of this Policy will focus on communication, education and support. Signs will be posted at all entrances and placed in strategic locations throughout the campus, satellite locations and at District office. Prospective students applying for the City Colleges of Chicago will be informed in advance that we have a tobacco-free policy. Success of this Policy will depend on the cooperation of all students, faculty, staff and visitors to not only comply with this policy, but also encourage others to comply with this Policy in order to promote a healthy environment in which to learn and work. It is the responsibility of the College community, including visitors, to observe this Policy. All administrators, deans, directors, department chairs, and supervisors will communicate this Policy to everyone within their areas of responsibility. Compliance is high when students, faculty, staff and administrators are tobacco-free role models in the community – that’s our goal.   
   
   
Q. If someone is found violating the Healthy Campus Policy, then how should it be reported?   
A. Anyone who witnesses or otherwise becomes aware of a violation of this Policy may report the violation to the appropriate College representative:   
  • Reports of student violations should be made to the Dean of Students for the campus on which the violation occurred.
  • Reports of Faculty/Employee violations should be made to the Vice President for the campus on which the violation occurred.
  • Reports of visitor or contractor/vendor violations should be made to Campus Office of Safety and Security.
  
  • Report of employees at District Office should be made to the Office of Human Resources.
  • Report of visitors or vendors at District Office should be made to the Office of Safety and Security.
  
   
Q. What are the consequences for violating the Healthy Campus policy?   
A. Anyone who witnesses or otherwise becomes aware of a violation of this Policy may report the violation to the appropriate College representative:   
  • Students, Faculty or Employees deemed to have violated this Policy may be subject to College supportive action. Supportive action may include, but is not limited to the following: Verbal notice, provide educational literature and referral to preventive services or Community Service at Smoke Free program.
  • Visitors who violate this Policy, including contractors/vendors and those acting on their behalf, may be denied access to College property. The City Colleges of Chicago is committed to providing support to all students, faculty and staff personnel who wish to stop using tobacco products. The City Colleges of Chicago is committed to ensuring that students, faculty and staff have access to several types of assistance, including tobacco cessation programs, telephone or group counseling and educational programs. Successful implementation of this Policy requires a District-wide cooperative effort.
  
  • All members of the City Colleges of Chicago community are urged to assist in this endeavor of significant importance. This is a District wide self-governance policy and will be enforced internally. It is expected the campus Office of Safety and Security will, as members of the campus community, be involved in enforcement in the same manner as all other members of the campus community.
  
   
Q. Can a smoker smoke tobacco-free cigarettes?   
A. No. All students, faculty, staff, and visitors are expected to comply with the Healthy campus policy. By using tobacco-free cigarettes, a person is not complying with the Policy.   
   

Q. Is tobacco related apparel banned?
A. Yes. The Student Policy Manual bans tobacco related apparel being worn as a personal article of clothing. Intentional advertising, soliciting or advocating use of tobacco products in opposition to the Policy is a violation to the intent of the Policy.   


Q: What happens for students, faculty and staff who may rely on tobacco to relieve their stress?
A. The City Colleges of Chicago is dedicated to helping people through tough times and are helping our visitors comply with the Policy as well. There are times when we have to use our best judgment in how we interact with visitors in tragic and stressful situations. But in general, we will ask everyone to refrain from using tobacco.   
   

Q. What will be done to help smokers and tobacco users?
A. A number of resources are available to help smokers quit or reduce their use of tobacco. They include the following resources, but not limited to: smoke cessation classes, nicotine replacement therapies, informational/educational materials, the campus Wellness Centers and community partners. Also, the Chicago Tobacco prevention HelpLine provides free, one-on-one phone counseling and support, to the City Colleges of Chicago at 1-866-QUIT-YES. This is a statewide telephone helpline staffed by trained counselors who can provide information about quitting and can work with you to develop a customized quit smoking plan.   

The Chicago Tobacco prevention web site, www.quitwinchicago.com, provides free counseling to any student, faculty, staff or administrator ready to quit tobacco use. Smokers, spit-tobacco users and health professionals can call the Quitline for help and information. Quitting tobacco use is the best thing you can do for your health. Intake is available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
   
Quitline counselors will help you:   
  • Set a quit date to help your chance of success.
  
  •  Learn ways to cope with cravings and withdrawal.
  
  •  Change your habits related to smoking or chewing.
  
  •  Avoid weight gain and other side effects.
  • Find other local support.
  
  • Get support whenever you are tempted to smoke or chew.
  
   
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