ECC became a tobacco free campus January 1, 2013.
“As an educational institution, we have an obligation to lead the way in matters of health awareness and education,” said Cookie Hays, vice president of student development. “We are committed to providing our students, employees and visitors with a safe and healthy environment.”
The new policy was approved by the board of trustees December 5, 2011. It states that usage of all tobacco products will be prohibited on all properties owned or leased by the College, including facilities, buildings, parking lots, athletic fields and common areas. The term “tobacco products” includes eCigarettes, hookah and such other smoking-related substances and products as the College chooses to prohibit. The policy applies to all faculty, staff, students, employees, contractors, performers and visitors.
Hays said the College announced the policy change well in advance of its implementation to give students and employees who use tobacco products plenty of time to decide how to adapt to this change. “We have provided assistance in a variety of ways, including smoking cessation programs, to help students, faculty members and staff adjust.”
A task force comprised of students, faculty and staff began meeting in August of 2011 to develop a process and timeline for implementation. ECC’s Student Government Association and Phi Theta Kappa honor society chapter also adopted the project as goals in 2012. Hays noted those two student organizations played a significant role in presenting the plan to students and addressing individual concerns. “Second hand smoke and the litter created with cigarettes have been an issue on campus for several years,” said Hays.
The transition to a tobacco-free environment was an action project of ECC’s Academic Quality Improvement Process.
ECC’s main campus in Union and location in Sullivan have been smoke-free inside buildings for several years.
Off-campus sites in Washington, Rolla and Warrenton are housed at facilities owned by the school districts and those locations do not allow smoking.