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PCC Considers Limiting Tobacco Use to Designated Areas

October 10, 2013

Tucson, AZ – Pima Community College is considering a policy that would restrict use of smoking, e-cigarette and tobacco products to designated areas on PCC property.

The new policy would make it easier for students, faculty and staff to avoid second-hand smoke.

PCC administration Wednesday night submitted Board Policy 2304 to the PCC Governing Board for an initial reading. The policy limits smoking, e-cigarette and tobacco product use to designated outside areas on PCC property, in order to comply with A.R.S. 36-601.01 (Smoke-Free Arizona Act), and related Pima County code provisions and City of Tucson ordinances.

The administration is recommending the new Board Policy replace SPG-2303/AA, which currently serves as PCC’s smoking policy. SPG-2303/AA, which exceeds the minimum requirement of A.R.S. 36-601.01, prohibits smoking in all buildings owned or leased by PCC. It also bans smoking within 25 feet of entrances and exits, fresh-air grills, as well as in other seating areas such as baseball fields.

In 2012, after faculty raised concerns about enforcement and compliance, Executive Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Dr. David Bea discussed the current policy with faculty, staff and student leaders. Also, the College surveyed students, faculty and staff about smoking. About 4,700 people, mostly students, responded to the survey. Among the key findings:

  • 81 percent indicated they do not smoke
  • 78 percent supported either the creation of designated smoking areas or prohibiting the use of tobacco products on College property
  • 70 percent agreed that smokeless tobacco should be banned from inside all buildings
  • 21.8 percent supported the current policy

If the policy is approved by the Board, designated smoking areas would be determined by gathering feedback from faculty, staff, and others at each College location.  These designated smoking areas will be clearly marked with signage. In addition, the College would provide smoking-cessation information to students and employees.

The proposed policy will be brought to faculty and staff for feedback, and will be submitted again to the Board, with a final reading projected for early 2014.

C.J. Karamargin
Vice Chancellor for Public Information and Federal Government Relations
(520) 206-4850