Breathe-Free, HCC

No butts about it.

Spread the Word


1. What should I say to someone I see violating the policy?

Compliance is everyone’s business.

Example #1

You see a person using tobacco products on HCC property.


Hello, I am a (student, employee) at HCC.  I want to make you aware that we are now a tobacco-free campus.  This means that smoking/tobacco products are prohibited on HCC property.  We would appreciate if you would not use smoking/tobacco products while visiting our campus.  Thank you for your cooperation.

Example #2

Where am I allowed to smoke?


Smoking and use of tobacco products are not allowed anywhere on HCC property.  This is a new policy meant to promote better health in our students and employees.  If you need to use smoking/tobacco products, you need to leave the campus.

Example #3

For vendors and visitors:  HCC is going tobacco-free on January 1, 2013.  Use of smoking/tobacco products will not be permitted on any campus, property or parking areas.  Thank you for respecting our policy.

Example #4

For registration, pre-admission and staff recommendations:  HCC is going tobacco-free on January 1, 2013.  Use of smoking/tobacco products will not be permitted on any campus, property or parking areas.  Thank you for respecting our policy.


2. Why are electronic cigarettes included in this policy?

Electronic cigarettes are not a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes.  The FDA has found several safety concerns regarding the use of these products, which are designed to deliver variable amounts of nicotine.

Many health proponents, most notably the World Health Organization, have expressed serious concerns about the adverse health effects of electronic cigarettes.  These organizations, including the FDA, cite a serious lack of safety data regarding the inhalation of known hazardous chemicals such as propylene glycol (found in antifreeze) and tobacco-specific nitrosamines (causes cancer), have been found in electronic cigarettes.  The FDA does not regulate electronic cigarettes and does not consider them to be a safe nicotine delivery system.  Prohibiting electronic cigarettes is consistent with HCC’s tobacco-free policy, which aims to promote a healthy environment including safer, cleaner air.


3. Why doesn’t HCC designate smoking areas?

Designated smoking areas even at property borders are not consistent with HCC’s tobacco-free policy.  The aim of this policy is to create a healthy place to live, work and learn.  Creating designated smoking areas sends the message that tobacco use is acceptable.  Further, designated smoking areas create confusion and are a compliance challenge.  Experience on other college campuses who have adopted a tobacco-free policy have pointed HCC in the direction of not designating smoking areas, as people do not comply with designated smoking areas.


1. Need HCC's administrative procedure written/adopted.

2. Purchasing needs to prepare a notice to vendors, etc.

3. Consider if the college wants to offer nicotine gum/patch at campus convenience stores.

4. Notice needs to be sent to our current service vendors, such as Sodexo; grounds contracts with architects, CMS, lawn care, etc.

Both now advising about January 1, 2013 date and for after goes into effect.

5. Recommendation to allow a year to get policy into effect before implementing serious infractions…REMIND, REMIND, REMIND.

6. Recommend employing students on part-time basis to be tobacco-free ambassadors to help walk campus to share policy.  Don’t become tobacco police. Add faculty/staff volunteers to promote policy.

7. HCC needs to establish a culture of compliance.

Communicate a universal, consistent message:

“Hello, my name is ______ and I am __________ (position) at HCC.  Our campus is completely tobacco-free so please put out your cigarette.  Thank you for respecting our policy.”

8. If asked where smoking is permitted, consider the following:

For each campus/site:
HCC property ends at:

This can be used for communicating policy boundaries (visitors).

9. Violations

Suggest establishing an email address for students/employees to report violations, such as

10. Ambassadors and volunteers can identify:

• Where have make-shift ashtrays appeared?
• Where are “hot spots”?
• Where are cigarette butts showing up in an area?

11. Build HCC’s tobacco-free policy into HCC’s green/sustainability movement.

12. Be patient and persistent.  Tobacco-free policy implementation involves changing our culture and that takes time.

Compliance is everyone’s business. Look for ways to build tobacco-free into existing activities and systems.

13. Hookah is flavored tobacco used with water pipe and the second most frequently used form of tobacco.

14. American Non-Smokers Rights webpage.


Become a tobacco-free Ambassador with the following resources

 Help cigs quit 

   Help Someone Quit Resource Kit  

   Get Involved and Make a Difference

   Office of the Surgeon General


   Academic and Health Impact Research

   American Lung Association

   Information is Power