ACC expands smoke-free policy to tobacco, vapor products

The Austin Community College District Board of Trustees voted November 17 to expand the college’s smoke-free policy to also prohibit nicotine vapor products and devices (such as electronic cigarettes) and smokeless tobacco products. The policy is effective January 5.

“We want to maintain a healthy and safe environment for our students and employees,” says Dr. Mary Hensley, ACC executive vice president of operations. “Research indicates that smokeless tobacco products pose significant health hazards, causing cancer and other diseases.”

ACC’s current smoke-free policy, adopted in October 2011, prohibits the use of smoke-producing tobacco in district facilities, on college grounds, and in ACC-owned vehicles. With the decision to become tobacco-free, ACC joins a growing number of Texas colleges and universities opting to become both smoke- and tobacco-free.

The board’s action also extends existing policy prohibiting tobacco-related advertising and sponsorships at ACC events and in college publications to include smoke, nicotine vapor, and related products.

In January signage and informational materials will be placed at all ACC campuses and facilities. ACC’s Human Resources Department also will offer smoking cessation workshops for faculty, staff, and students.

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