Breathe-Free, HCC

No butts about it.

Frequently Asked Questions


When does the Tobacco Free HCC policy go into effect?

January 1, 2013


Why is Hillsborough Community College going tobacco-free?

Hillsborough Community College (HCC) is dedicated to providing a healthy and productive environment for its faculty, staff, students, visitors, and contractors.  Research findings show that use of tobacco products constitutes a significant health hazard; tobacco smoke is a proven health and safety hazard both to smokers and to non-smokers who are involuntarily exposed to the second hand smoke.  By endorsing this tobacco-free policy, HCC joins more than 700 colleges and universities around the country to demonstrate its commitment to eliminating environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure, promoting healthy practices and choices for individuals, and establishing a collegiate culture of wellness. 

To whom does the tobacco-free policy apply? 

The tobacco-free policy applies to anyone who is on property and in facilities owned, leased or operated by Hillsborough Community College, including all employees, students, visitors, contractors, vendors.

What is prohibited under the tobacco-free policy?  

Use of all forms of tobacco, including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, pipes, water pipes, hookahs, and smokeless tobacco products are prohibited. Smokeless tobacco includes, but is not limited to, the use of snuff, chewing tobacco, smokeless pouches, or other forms of loose leaf tobacco. Electronic cigarettes are also prohibited.

What are the borders of the tobacco-free environment?

Tobacco use is prohibited on all Hillsborough Community College premises within the boundaries from public sidewalks or property lines on the edge of each of the College’s campuses, properties, and leased spaces. This includes all buildings, walkways, sidewalks, parking lots and garages, on-campus roads and driveways, grounds, on-campus bus stops and shelters, exterior open spaces, sports venues, and personal and college vehicles in these areas. There will no longer be designated smoking areas.

Can I smoke or use tobacco in my vehicle while on campus?

No. The policy prohibits tobacco use in personal vehicles while on any of Hillsborough Community College’s property.

Can I get help to quit?

Yes. A study completed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Management of Nicotine Addiction notes that 70% of current smokers want to quit smoking. With that in mind, Hillsborough Community College offers free tobacco cessation programs through its Employee Assistance and Student Assistance programs. Click here for upcoming workshops. Additional resources and organizations are available off-campus as well. A list of resources can be found here.

How will the tobacco-free policy be enforced?

Awareness of this policy will be promoted through signage, posters, printed materials, emails, web pages, students/employee orientations, videos, and other avenues. Violations should be reported just like any other policy violation at Hillsborough Community College. Students and employees who violate this policy may be subject to college disciplinary action. Visitors who violate this policy, including contractors, vendors and those acting on their behalf, may be denied access to college property.

Does this policy extend to neighboring properties?

No. However, employees and students are expected to be good representatives of Hillsborough Community College and respect neighboring properties outside our campuses and other facilities.

What are the rights of tobacco users?

There is no legal right to smoke or use tobacco under either state or federal law. Hillsborough Community College has the right and responsibility to enact policies to reduce injuries and illness by eliminating hazards and unsafe acts and conditions from it premises. Prohibiting tobacco use on college properties provides access to clean, smoke-free air while allowing adults who smoke to continue to do so off-property. It reduces the waste associated with smoking and use of smokeless tobacco. This policy supports the rights and privileges of both tobacco-users and non-users alike.

Have other colleges and universities gone smoke-free?

Yes, according to the American Non-Smokers Rights Foundation, there are at least 704 colleges and universities that have gone 100% smoke-free, as of April 1, 2012.