Tobacco-Free FAQs

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What are the boundaries of the College for the purpose of defining college property?
  • The boundaries include any property owned, operated, leased, occupied, or controlled by SOWELA Technical Community College. For purposes of the Tobacco-free Campus policy, this includes but is not limited to all buildings and structures, sidewalks, parking lots, walkways, attached parking structures and College owned vehicles.
How will the policy be enforced?
  • As an institution of higher education, SOWELA believes education is key to implementing this policy. We make people aware of the tobacco-free environment through electronic messaging, signage, notices in event programs and marketing. An explanation of theTobacco-free Campus policy is communicated to prospective and enrolling students and new employees. Additionally, we ask event planners to include information about the policy in materials distributed to all outside groups that use the College facilities.The expectation is that persons will voluntarily comply with the policy. It is the responsibility of everyone on campus to politely inform others of the policy and ask that they put out their cigarette and/or stop using tobacco products on campus.
Does the policy apply to the Morgan Smith site?
  • Yes. The policy includes the college’s main campus and all other buildings or facilities owned, operated, leased, occupied, or controlled by SOWELA Technical Community College.
Can persons smoke on city streets or sidewalks that cross the campus?
  • SOWELA Technical Community College has both college and city streets. The use of tobacco, including smoking, is prohibited on all college owned or controlled streets and sidewalks. The Tobacco-free Campus policy does not apply to city streets or sidewalks that are not owned or controlled by SOWELA Technical Community College.
Does the Tobacco-free Campus policy apply at college sanctioned events or sporting activities occurring off campus property?
  • The Tobacco-free Campus policy applies only to College owned, operated, leased, occupied, or controlled property. Events or activities scheduled elsewhere are bound by the policies or rules of the event coordinator or property manager.
Does the policy apply to visitors on campus?
  • Yes. Organizers and attendees at public events, such as conferences, meetings, public lectures, social events, cultural events, and sporting events using College facilities are required to abide by the Tobacco-free Campus policy. Organizers of such events are responsible for communicating the policy to attendees.
Is the College requiring that people quit using tobacco products?
  • No. However, we are encouraging current tobacco users to explore this option. The College is committed to supporting all students and employees who wish to stop using tobacco products with cessation resources. Students, faculty, and staff choosing to continue using tobacco products may do so, but only on their own time and in areas not owned, operated, leased, occupied, or controlled by SOWELA Technical Community College.
What resources are available to help those who want to quit using tobacco products?
  • Assistance to students, faculty, and staff to overcome addiction to tobacco through Cessation Programs is offered by the College and other local partnerships.
Will the use of e-cigarettes be permitted?
  • No. The FDA does not consider e-cigarettes to be a safe nicotine delivery system or smoking cessation strategy and their use is prohibited on college property. See FDA information on e-cigarettes.
Does the Tobacco-free Campus policy prohibit the use of chewing tobacco on campus?
  • Yes. The use of all tobacco products, including smokeless tobacco products like chewing tobacco and snuff, is prohibited on all College property.
Are clove cigarettes (Bidis or Kreteks) permitted?
  • No. The use of clove cigarettes is prohibited by the Tobacco-free Campus policy. The CDC reports that smoking clove cigarettes is associated with an increased risk for lung damage. See CDC information on clove cigarettes.
Will the use of tobacco-free hookahs be allowed on campus?
  • No. Hookahs, sometimes called water pipes, are prohibited by the Tobacco-free Campus policy. While some tobacco-free smoking materials are available for use in hookahs, there is insufficient research data to document that they are safe for use and that they will not pose a health risk to others. See CDC information on hookahs.
Are there designated smoking or tobacco use areas?
  • There are no designated smoking areas at all on SOWELA Technical Community College’s main campus and any site locations.
Are there signs to tell people they can’t use tobacco?
  • Notices bearing the message “Tobacco-Free Campus” and signs with the international symbol for tobacco-free or similar are posted at major college vehicular, pedestrian and building entrances. However, the Tobacco-free Campus policy applies to all College property whether or not a notice or sign is posted.
What will the College do if there are reported concerns by owners of property adjacent to campus involving the accumulation of tobacco litter?
  • We will work with business owners and other property owners adjacent to College properties to address their concerns about the possibility of litter being left behind by tobacco users from our campus.
What if the people don’t abide by the policy?
  • For visitors, we believe reminders about the tobacco-free campus will be important and the College will provide messaging on college affiliated materials, websites, vendor contracts and for special events. For students and employees, we expect cooperation with a policy that directly supports the health and well-being of all individuals. The College will review reports of repeated concerns and implement actions for resolution using existing methods of enforcement for College policy violations.
What should I do if I see someone using tobacco on college property?
  • Example Script #1:

Situation: You see a person using tobacco products on SOWELA property.

Response: “Hello. I want to make you aware that we are a tobacco-free campus. Tobacco products are prohibited on our grounds. We would appreciate if you would not use tobacco products while visiting our campus. Thank you for your cooperation.”

  • Example Script #2:

Question: “Where am I allowed to smoke?”

Response: “If you need to smoke or use tobacco products you will need to leave the campus. You can visit our online campus maps to help you identify college property at www.sowela.edu/campus-map.

  • Example Script #3:

For registration, pre-admission, and office staff who are speaking to students and families prior to a SOWELA campus visit: “I’d like to let you know in advance that our campus is a tobacco-free environment. Tobacco cessation resources are available for enrolled students and staff and faculty.”

Have other colleges/universities implemented a tobacco-free campus?
  • Yes, some as early as 2003, and the number continues to increase. There are over 600 college and university campuses all across the United States that have enacted 100% smoke- or tobacco-free campuses. All Louisiana public colleges and universities are required by Act 211 to draft and implement Smoke-free campus policies.