GA-02 Tobacco Use
Green River Community College will go tobacco free on January 1, 2013. The use of all tobacco products will not be allowed on college property and smoking materials must be extinguished and disposed of prior to entering any college property. This includes cigarettes, e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco.
What does this mean to me?
A tobacco-free campus means that everyone refrains from using any tobacco products including cigarettes, cigars or pipes and smokeless or chewing tobacco in Green River buildings or on Green River premises. This includes, but is not limited to all sidewalks, parking lots, landscaped areas, recreational areas and buildings on any Green River property and in any Green River owned, rented or leased vehicles.
Why is Green River going tobacco free?
We’ve heard from you: tobacco is unhealthy. It smells bad, causes health problems and litters our beautiful campuses. That sentiment comes from students, faculty, staff and visitors.
A tobacco-free campus creates a healthier environment for all of us. It helps people who want to quit using tobacco. It helps reduce the number of new tobacco-users.
How will the new policy be enforced?
Ultimately it is everyone’s responsibility to follow Green River policy while on college property. We ask that everyone remind each other that we are a tobacco free college. In addition to verbal reminders, failure to comply with the tobacco free policy could result in disciplinary action.
Ready to quit?
We've got resources:
- Green River’s Coordinator for Prevention Education: Julie French
- Let’s Do This King County
Tobacco Cessation Resources and Support Groups
If you are interested in quitting smoking or you know someone who may be interested. This is a good time to gather the information and decide when to take the first step.
There are programs to help you quit through your insurance programs such as: Uniform Quit for Life program.
Support groups are also free and in our community. Here is a list:
Wednesdays, 6:00 -7:00 pm
Auburn Regional Medical Center, Heart Care Center Classroom 2nd floor; 202 N. Division, Auburn WA 98001
For more information: Heidi Henson, 253-223-7538 firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursdays, 6:30 -7:30 pm
St. Francis Hospital, Executive Room; 34515 9th Ave. S. Federal Way, WA 98003
For more information: Heidi Henson, 253-223-7538 or email@example.com
FREE Accelerate Your Quit Workshops
Auburn Valley YMCA, 1620 Perimeter Road, Auburn, WA 98001
2012: 11/17; 2013: 1/19
What exactly does the new tobacco policy do?
This policy ensures that Green River Community College is tobacco free. This includes inhaling, exhaling, burning or carrying of any lighted tobacco material - including cigarettes, cigars or pipes - on Green River property. The use of other tobacco products, such as smokeless or chewing tobacco, is also included in the tobacco free policy. The policy does not include FDA approved nicotine-replacement therapy products for the purpose of cessation.
Who is affected by the tobacco policy?
The tobacco policy applies to all persons on or in Green River property. This includes, but is not limited to; persons on Green River sidewalks, parking lots, landscaped areas, recreational areas, in buildings on Green River property and in vehicles owned, rented or leased by Green River.
Why are you going tobacco free and not just non-smoking?
Non-compliance with the designated smoking areas and the constant littering on campus indicated it was time for a change. Facilities management spends a lot of time cleaning up chewing tobacco spittle all across campus in entryways, stairwells and on walkways. It makes for a very unpleasant environment for all.
Why doesn’t Green River continue to provide designated smoking areas on campus?
We have and they just haven’t worked. Many people choose not to use the designated smoking areas and frequently smoke on their way to classes. Providing a place to smoke does not support Green River’s goal of creating a healthier environment.
Can I smoke in my car?
Tobacco use in personal vehicles is not prohibited.
Isn’t Green River discriminating against tobacco users with this policy?
Legally, Green River has a right to decide whether or not to permit tobacco in its facilities and on its grounds. Tobacco use is the leading cause of death in this country and is a preventable disease. Green River will continue to set policies regarding activity on our premises and to create an environment that we believe is in the best interest of the educational environment for our employees, students and visitors.
How is the policy enforced?
Ultimately it is everyone’s responsibility to follow Green River policy while on college property. We ask that everyone remind each other that we are a tobacco free campus. In addition to verbal reminders, failure to comply with the tobacco free policy could result in corrective/disciplinary action and possibly citations and fines.
What will happen to students who violate the policy?
As a result of continued violation of the Green River Community College Tobacco Free Policy, students may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, restitution or probation.
What will happen to employees who violate the policy?
Compliance with Green River Community College rules and regulations is considered a standard part of job performance for all employees. Repeated failure by faculty or staff of Green River to abide by these rules and procedures may be addressed through informal discussions between the employee and her/his immediate supervisor (e.g., clarifying the tobacco free policy, outlining available resources and helping the employee to develop a strategy for compliance with the tobacco free policy).
What should I do if I see an employee, student or visitor smoking on campus?
With the utmost courtesy and respect, remind the person that Green River is a tobacco free campus. If the person continues to smoke or becomes confrontational, we encourage you to walk away and call Campus Safety at extension #3350. We recognize that not everyone will feel comfortable approaching smokers, but we encourage the campus community to assist with compliance in some way.
What resources are available to help employees?
Green River is committed to helping students, faculty and staff manage or overcome their tobacco use. For available resources, contact Green River’s Coordinator for Prevention Education, Julie French.
Why are you waiting until January 1 to implement this policy?
This policy will have a significant impact on our students, faculty and staff and will be a big culture change. We wanted to give our campus community time to adjust to the new tobacco free policy and allow our staff to effectively communicate the change.
Are other colleges and universities going tobacco-free and smoke-free?
Many Washington state campuses have some form of no-smoking rule or are in the process of adopting one. Green River will be the ninth Washington college campus to go 100 percent smoke-free. Green River is the fourth Washington state community college to ban tobacco use and the second this year.
How will this policy be communicated?
The policy will be communicated through an informative and educational process. The policy is posted on the website with resources for help with quitting. Students, faculty and staff will be communicated through email, Campus News and employee newsletters. There will be distinctive signage posted near entrances and property perimeters. We will approach anyone found smoking on the property, inform the person about the policy and politely ask for their cooperation.
How can I best support the policy?
We all have a role to play in creating healthier communities. You can best support this policy simply by moving off property when using tobacco products. We have asked our employees to take an active role in making people aware by politely asking tobacco users to move off property. Non-smokers can help by respecting this may be difficult for tobacco users and by providing encouragement to those who choose to quit, while continuing to respect the right to choose.
Why are electronic cigarettes included in the tobacco ban?
Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, are battery-operated products designed to deliver nicotine, flavor and other chemicals. They turn nicotine, which is highly addictive, and other chemicals into a vapor that is inhaled by the user. E-Cigarettes may contain ingredients that are known to be toxic, and may contain other ingredients that may not be safe. Also, most e-cigarettes are manufactured to look like conventional cigarettes, cigars, or pipes.
How can I ask questions or address concerns that I have about the tobacco-free campus policy?
Any questions pertaining to the tobacco-free campus policy can be submitted to the office of College Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org or extension 3361.