Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why did STLCC become tobacco-free?
A: The action reinforces STLCC’s commitment to providing a healthy and safe educational setting and workplace not only for students and employees, but also for those who visit our campuses and facilities. The Wildwood campus and the William J. Harrison Education Center already have been designated as tobacco-free as a condition of certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System®.
St. Louis City and St. Louis County enacted ordinances to ban smoking in many public spaces, including educational facilities, which took effect Jan. 2, 2011. The college complied with these ordinances.
Q: What does "tobacco-free" mean?
A: “Tobacco-free” means that anyone who comes onto STLCC campuses or college-owned facilities, or uses college vehicles, may not use tobacco products. Tobacco products affected by this policy include, but are not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, pipes and all forms of smokeless tobacco.
Q: When did the STLCC policy take effect?
A: Jan. 2, 2011
Q: But smokeless tobacco doesn’t put others at risk, so why ban it?
A: The health risks associated with smokeless tobacco, such as chewing tobacco or snuff, are well documented, so we have included all forms of tobacco in our smoke- and tobacco-free policy.
Q: What exactly is considered "property boundaries”?
A: “Property boundaries” means inside the geographical perimeter of any STLCC jurisdiction. This includes indoors and outdoors at all STLCC buildings and grounds such as our four campuses, the education centers, Cosand Center and any other college-owned facility or vehicle. Personal vehicles located within the property boundaries are also subject to this policy.
Q: Why not still allow people to smoke outdoors? Is there a real health risk to others from secondhand smoke if a person smokes outside a building or enclosure?
A: The risk of secondhand smoke is less, but it is still present. St. Louis Community College’s goal is to provide a totally smoke- and tobacco-free environment; allowing smoking on the grounds is inconsistent with that goal.
Q: Where can I smoke?
A: The goal of this policy is to make our work environment and school property completely tobacco-free. However, properties outside STLCC boundaries are still subject to local city and county ordinances.
Q: Is there a plan for dealing with employees, students or visitors who choose to use tobacco across the street or on neighboring properties?
A: Common courtesy should prevail. We should strive to be good neighbors. Property owners have the right to protect their property and may not desire to have tobacco-users loitering and littering on their property.
Q: Who is responsible for implementing and enforcing the policy?
A: We are all responsible for implementing this policy. It is important that we all work to promote good health and support an environment free of tobacco.
Although voluntary compliance is our goal, enforcement is the responsibility of the St. Louis Community College Ploice.
Q: Will there be consequences if someone is caught?
A: Per Administrative Policy H.23, violators will be subject to the following penalties:
- A citation will be issued by St. Louis Community College Police and a fee of $15 will be assessed.
- Student’s transcripts will not be released, and registration for subsequent semesters will not be permitted until all violations and related fee have been cleared.
Q: How will we communicate to the public that we are tobacco-free?
A: Signage indicating the tobacco-free policy has been placed at public entrances to college property throughout the district. In addition, other informational materials and announcements have been distributed through the news media to help inform the public.
Q: Does this policy mean that I have to quit using tobacco?
A: No. This policy does not require STLCC employees/students to quit using tobacco. However, by implementing this policy, the college hopes to encourage employees and students to support each other in making healthy lifestyle choices for themselves and protecting other’s health. We understand that this policy may be difficult for tobacco users, but we do ask them to respect the health of nonsmokers.
Q: What can I do if I’m interested in quitting tobacco use?
A: We encourage people to take advantage of resources available to aid in smoking cessation. In St. Louis there are many organizations, agencies, programs and support groups to assist those who wish to quit tobacco use for good. For more information about the risks involved with using tobacco and information on how to quit smoking, visit the following sites:
- St. Louis County Health
- American Cancer Society
- American Lung Association
- Office of the Surgeon General
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- National Cancer Institute
Q: Who should I talk to about questions or concerns that I have about the tobacco-free policy?
A. Your opinion and feedback are very important to us, and we want to help you understand the policy and answer any questions you may have. Please feel free to contact: