Tobacco-Free Policy

Tobacco-Free Policy


Adopted: Friday, March 23, 1990 
Revision Number: 6 
Revision Date: Wednesday, March 1, 2023 
Reference: Student Affairs, Personnel

Because Pearl River Community College is committed to providing a safe and healthy working and learning environment for the students, faculty, and staff on its campus, it hereby adopts the following smokefree and tobacco-free policy.

Section 1. Findings and Intent.

The 2006 U.S. Surgeon General’s Report, The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke, has concluded that (1) secondhand smoke exposure causes disease and premature death in children and adults who do not smoke; (2) children exposed to secondhand smoke are at an increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), acute respiratory problems, ear infections, and asthma attacks, and that smoking by parents causes respiratory symptoms and slows lung growth in their children; (3) exposure of adults to secondhand smoke has immediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular system and causes coronary heart disease and lung cancer; (4) there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke; (5) establishing smokefree workplaces is the only effective way to ensure that secondhand smoke exposure does not occur in the workplace, because ventilation and other air cleaning technologies cannot completely control for exposure of nonsmokers to secondhand smoke; and (6) evidence from peer-reviewed studies shows that smokefree policies and laws do not have an adverse economic impact on the hospitality industry. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2006.) According to the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, more than 2,000 college and university sites in the United States have adopted 100% smokefree, or even tobacco-free (including noncombustible tobacco) policies, and this number is rising steadily. The American College Health Association “encourages colleges and universities to be diligent in their efforts to achieve a 100% indoor and outdoor campus-wide tobacco-free environment.” The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) created the Tobacco-Free College Campus Initiative (TFCCI), later administered by the American Cancer Society, in partnership with CVS Health, as the Tobacco-Free Generation Campus Initiative (TFGCI), to promote and support the adoption and implementation of tobacco-free policies at universities, colleges, and other institutions of higher learning across the United States. The smoking of tobacco, hookahs, or marijuana and the use of Electronic Smoking Devices (ESDs) are forms of air pollution and constitute both a danger to health and a material public nuisance.

Accordingly, the Pearl River Community College Board of Trustees finds and declares that the purposes of this policy are (1) to protect the public health and welfare by prohibiting smoking and the use of tobacco products, including ESDs, on all Pearl River Community College campuses; (2) to guarantee the right of nonsmokers to breathe smokefree air, while recognizing that the need to breathe smokefree air shall have priority over the desire to smoke; and (3) to encourage a healthier, more productive living/learning environment for all members of our campus community.

Section 2. Definitions.

  1. “Electronic Smoking Device” means any product containing or delivering nicotine or any other substance intended for human consumption that can be used by a person in any manner for the purpose of inhaling vapor or aerosol from the product. The term includes any such device, whether manufactured, distributed, marketed, or sold as an e-cigarette, e-cigar, e-pipe, e-hookah, or vape pen, or under any other product name or descriptor.
  2. “Hookah” means a water pipe and any associated products and devices which are used to produce fumes, smoke, and/or vapor from the burning of material including, but not limited to, tobacco, shisha, or other plant matter.
  3. “Smoking” means inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying any lighted or heated cigar, cigarette, pipe, hookah, or any other lighted or heated tobacco or plant product intended for inhalation, including marijuana, whether natural or synthetic, in any manner or in any form. “Smoking” also includes the use of an electronic smoking device which creates an aerosol or vapor, in any manner or in any form, or the use of any oral smoking device for the purpose of circumventing the prohibition of smoking in this Article.
  4. “Tobacco Product” means any substance containing tobacco leaf, including but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, hookah tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco, dipping tobacco, bidis, blunts, clove cigarettes, or any other preparation of tobacco; and any product or formulation of matter containing biologically active amounts of nicotine that is manufactured, sold, offered for sale, or otherwise distributed with the expectation that the product or matter will be introduced into the human body by inhalation, ingestion, or absorption; but does not include any cessation product specifically approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in treating nicotine or tobacco dependence.

Section 3. Smoking and Tobacco Use Prohibited on Pearl River Community College Campuses.

In light of the above findings, all Pearl River Community College campuses shall be entirely smoke-free and tobacco-free.

The Smokefree and Tobacco-Free Policy applies to all Pearl River Community College facilities, property, and vehicles, owned or leased, regardless of location. Smoking and the use of tobacco products shall not be permitted in any enclosed place, including, but not limited to, all offices, classrooms, hallways, waiting rooms, restrooms, meeting rooms, community areas, performance venues and private residential space within Pearl River Community College housing. Smoking and the use of tobacco products shall also be prohibited outdoors on all Pearl River Community College campus property, including, but not limited to, parking lots, paths, fields, sports/recreational areas, and stadiums, as well as in all personal vehicles while on campus. There will be no exemptions allowed for theatrical productions, permission from the president or other authority, sports arena and/or special events, off-campus properties; and smoking areas. This policy applies to all students, faculty, staff, and other persons on campus, regardless of the purpose for their visit.

Section 4. Promotion and Sale of Smoking and Tobacco Products Prohibited on Pearl River Community College Campuses.

In further recognition of the incompatibility of Pearl River Community College’s educational mission and the promotion of smoking/tobacco products:

No tobacco-related advertising or sponsorship shall be permitted on Pearl River Community College property, at Pearl River Community College-sponsored events, or in publications produced by Pearl River Community College, with the exception of advertising in a newspaper or magazine that is not produced by Pearl River Community College and which is lawfully sold, bought, or distributed on Pearl River Community College property. For the purposes of this policy, “tobacco related” applies to the use of a tobacco brand or corporate name, trademark, logo, symbol, or motto, selling message, recognizable pattern or colors, or any other indicia of product identical to or similar to, or identifiable with, those used for any brand of tobacco products or company which manufactures tobacco products, or smoking products. No smoking products, tobacco products, or tobacco paraphernalia shall be sold or distributed as samples on university grounds, either in vending machines, the student union, or any area on campus.

Section 5. Dissemination of Policy; Signage

Copies of this policy shall be distributed to all faculty and staff and shall be included with information given to all admitted students. Information about the policy and how to comply with it shall also be posted on the Pearl River Community College website. Announcements concerning the policy and any changes to it shall be printed in campus newspapers and posted on the Pearl River Community College website to insure that everyone fully understands the policy. No smoking signs shall be posted at all points of entry to the Pearl River Community College Campus and at all Pearl River Community College building entrances. No ashtrays shall be provided at any location on campus.

Section 6. Enforcement of Policy; Penalties

On-site smoking cessation programs shall be made available to assist and encourage individuals who wish to quit smoking. Questions and problems regarding this policy should be handled through existing departmental administrative channels and administrative procedures. This policy shall be enforced by the Pearl River Community College Campus Police Department. Each violation of this policy is punishable by a warning for the first offense, a $100 fine for the second offense and face dismissal from attendance or employment for the third offense.

This Policy shall be effective on May 1, 2020.

Updated on August 16, 2023

Each community college president is asked to bring two (2) wrapped door prizes, minimum value of $50 each. We will have a station set up at the conference for you to drop off the door prizes.

Each community college is asked to provide name tags for their Board members, administration, and staff attending the conference.