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For questions or additional information about AWC going tobacco free email:
AWCTobaccoFree at azwestern.edu


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AWC Tobacco-Free FAQ's

When does AWC’s tobacco-free policy take effect?

Effective July 1, 2014, tobacco use is prohibited on university property, facilities, grounds, parking structures, college owned vehicles and structures owned or leased by AWC.

Who does the policy affect?

All AWC employees, students and visitors will be asked to adhere to the tobacco-free policy while on AWC property.

Isn’t this tobacco-free policy a violation of my civil and constitutional rights?

There is no “right to smoke” under state or federal law. AWC has the authority to govern the use of its property and regulate its use. Smoking in public places produces secondhand smoke, which has been proven harmful others, even if they do not smoke. Banning tobacco at AWC protects everyone from exposure to secondhand smoke while they are on campus.

How was the policy developed?

The tobacco-free policy is a collaborative product of students, staff, and AWC administration.

How can I fight this new policy?

We are committed to supporting a culture of health for students, faculty, staff and visitors. A tobacco-free environment contributes substantially to a healthier environment which is in line with AWC’s commitment to health and wellness.

How will everyone know that AWC is a tobacco-free institution?

Signage about our tobacco-free campus will be placed throughout AWC grounds and buildings beginning in spring 2014. Additionally information will be sent to student, faculty and staff emails and placed online.  The college will market the changes to the community.

How is this policy different from the current policies about smoking and tobacco use?

Tobacco products at AWC were preciously allowed outdoors, at least 20 feet away from any building entrance. This new policy prohibits the use of all tobacco products on AWC property.

Why not just create more smoking areas?

AWC’s commitment to improve the working and learning environment does not support the creation of more smoking areas in effort to improve the health of our campus community.

Is smokeless tobacco also banned at AWC?

AWC’s commitment to improve the working and learning environment does not support smokeless tobacco (chew, dip, snuff etc.)  in effort to improve the health of our campus community.

Why is smokeless tobacco banned?

All types of tobacco products are known to present a health hazard to users. As a result the AWC adopted a 100% tobacco-free policy.

Why are e-cigarettes banned?

There is insufficient evidence about the safety of e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes are not FDA approved and are not considered an approved cessation device. Furthermore E-cigarettes have a heating element which can serve as a source of ignition. They are therefore prohibited on campus.

Are nicotine gum, patches or lozenges allowed?

Forms of approved nicotine replacement therapy such as gum, patches, and losenges are permitted on campus as they are FDA approved methods of quitting tobacco use.  

Can I use tobacco products in my own vehicle on campus?

No, a vehicle parked on AWC property is still within the boundaries of the tobacco-free zone.

Are AWC recreational facilities tobacco-free?

Yes, if they are on AWC property.

Will the policy remain in effect on weekends?

The tobacco-free policy is in effect 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Does the policy include property that AWC leases?

Yes, the tobacco-free policy applies to all buildings owned and leased by AWC.

Do guests coming on to campus for special events like weddings or conferences have to abide by the tobacco-free policy?

Yes, the tobacco-free policy applies to all buildings owned and leased by AWC, including times that these buildings are being rented by outside entities.

What will be done with the ashtrays around campus?

Ashtrays will be removed from campus because they are a receptacle for a product that will no longer be used on AWC property.

How will property owners near the AWC campuses be affected by the policy?

Properties near AWC set their own policies regarding tobacco use. We ask AWC employees, students and visitors to be courteous when going off campus to use tobacco products by disposing of tobacco products and packaging in appropriate receptacles and being aware of others nearby who may not wish to be exposed to secondhand smoke.

What should I do if I see someone smoking or using other tobacco products?

It is possible that a person smoking on the AWC campus is unaware of the tobacco-free policy. If you see someone smoking or using other tobacco products on an AWC campus after July 1st, 2014, inform them that AWC has gone tobacco-free, and ask them to extinguish their tobacco product if you are comfortable doing so.

What should I do if I see someone smoking or using other tobacco products and I am not comfortable approaching them?

If you are not comfortable with approaching someone about their tobacco use please submit an incident report. (Please be as detailed as possible)

What are the consequences for people who violate the tobacco-free policy?

Students and employees are required to abide by all AWC policies. If a student or an employee violates this policy, they may face disciplinary action.

What if someone smoking on campus sets off a fire alarm?

Students and employees are required to abide by all AWC policies. If a student or an employee violates this policy, they may face disciplinary action.

Are there policy exceptions?

No there are not any exceptions.

How common is this for a community college to do?

Many colleges and universities have implemented tobacco-free policies. The Maricopa County Community College District established a smoke-free, tobacco-free environment on July 1, 2012. www.no-smoke.org

How will this change a positive difference at AWC?

Creating a tobacco-free environment allows for a healthy, comfortable and productive living, learning and working environment.

How can I quit smoking?

Quitting tobacco can be a long, difficult process. The Arizona Smokers’ Helpline (1.800.556.6222), offers personalized coaching to quit smoking, and offers referrals to local resources.

For more information about the AWC Tobacco-Free Initiative, please email AWCTobaccoFree@azwestern.edu

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