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Frequently Asked Questions


Now that we can’t smoke or chew anywhere at East Central, what is the next right you are going to take away?

Answer: We understand that some feel they have a right to use tobacco and that our policy infringes on that right. The truth is East Central College is well within its rights to prohibit activities that have an adverse effect. If another behavior were identified that exposed others and the environment to harm as tobacco use does, we feel it would be our responsibility to prohibit that behavior.


Why are you prohibiting smokeless tobacco? Chewing doesn’t produce secondhand smoke.

Answer: We prohibit all uses of tobacco because the US Surgeon General has determined “there is no safe level of exposure” to secondhand smoke AND according to the World Health Organization, the greatest source of litter on the planet is tobacco refuse. Chewing produces expectorant and waste that is discarded on our property. By prohibiting all tobacco use, we are taking the strongest stand possible against tobacco use. Adopting this policy will help many of our employees and students who want to quit their dependency on tobacco. This in turn will improve the health and well-being of employees and students.


Can we use the so-called e-cigarettes? They are advertised as a device that helps people quit.

Answer: The Food and Drug Administration has determined e-cigarettes are “tobacco.” Since our policy prohibits tobacco use, e-cigarettes are included.


What will happen if we violate the tobacco policy?

Answer: Employees and students are required to comply with organizational policies. Failure to do so would jeopardize a person’s job/standing at East Central College. It is our hope that all who use tobacco would choose to not do so out of respect for others and the environment. By voluntarily complying, employees and students help make East Central College a welcoming destination for the thousands of visitors we serve each year. By eliminating tobacco use from our property, East Central College is sending a powerful message about the harm tobacco use causes for people and our environment.


How will our “smoking” visitors be treated regarding the policy?

Answer: All who come onto East Central College property will be informed of the tobacco policy and thanked for their cooperation. East Central College employees and students will be asked to inform others about the policy in positive ways that respect others.


What will you do about employees and students smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco in their cars on the parking lots?

Answer: At this time, we choose to not enforce the tobacco policy inside private vehicles as long as the windows are up and tobacco litter is not discarded on the parking lots.


You say the reason for the policy is respect for others but you aren’t respecting smokers. How is that right?

Answer: East Central College would like to balance the “rights” of the person using tobacco with the rights of the person who doesn’t want to be exposed to the effects of tobacco use. We have carefully considered the issues, including the impact on health and our environment. When you consider tobacco users are outnumbered by non-users by around 4 to 1, the history of many tobacco users discarding their tobacco litter indiscriminately, our strong desire to help employees and students interested in quitting their tobacco use, and the message we are sending about the negative impact of tobacco use to all who come to East Central College, the justification for the policy is clear. Our objective is to have policies that create the best work environment possible. Tobacco use desecrates the environment and harms people. It is completely consistent with our mission to eliminate tobacco use from our property, but we will do so with respect for everyone, including tobacco users!

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