Frequently Asked Questions
Effective September 4. 2012, Bronx Community College (BCC) will become tobacco free and the use of tobacco products will not be permitted anywhere on the campus, including college or privately owned vehicles. See complete CUNY tobacco-free policy at: http://www.cuny.edu/about/resources/healthycuny/tobaccofreecuny.html
Do smokers have the right to smoke?
Smokers have the right to smoke, but the courts have ruled that they do not have the right to harm the health of nonsmoking members of the college community. Source: Samantha K. Graff, Tobacco Control Legal Consortium, There is No Constitutional Right to Smoke: 2008, 2nd edition, 2008.
Why does Bronx Community College have a Tobacco-Free Campus Policy?
BCC is committed to promoting good health among all employees and students at the college. The purpose of the policy is to eliminate the dangers from exposure to secondhand smoke and provide an environment that is tobacco free.
What is secondhand smoke and why is it a health hazard?
Secondhand smoke is a mixture of exhaled smoke and smoke released from the burning end of tobacco products. Dr. Richard Carmona, Surgeon General of the U.S. from 2002 to 2007, and a graduate of BCC, released an excellent landmark report on the dangers of secondhand smoke. Please see Richard Carmona, The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco: A Report of the Surgeon General: CDC, 2006. (http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/sgr/2006/index.htm).
Will smokers be allowed to smoke in their private cars parked on the campus?
Smoking within vehicles will not be permitted on the campus. Harmful secondhand smoke can be released into the college environment when smokers open their vehicle doors. Additionally, heavy deposits of toxins that build up on the body and clothing of smokers in the vehicles—or third-hand smoke—will negatively impact nonsmokers in indoor spaces. Source: Coco Ballantyne, “What is Third-Hand Smoke? Is it Hazardous?” Scientific America. January 6, 2009. Web.
Will smokers be stigmatized as disrespectful of others and the environment? Will they risk workplace discrimination?
Smokers are viewed as respected members of the college community who may have dependency issues with tobacco. They will be encouraged to stop smoking by participating in free cessation programs both on and off the campus.
Will smoking cessation programs be available on the BCC Campus?
Smokers will be provided with the opportunity to receive help to stop smoking by participating in a cessation program off or on campus.
What will happen to smokers who are noncompliant with the new policy?
A variety of approaches will be used to encourage smokers not to smoke or use tobacco products. One approach would be to encourage smokers to substitute healthy behaviors for unhealthy ones. Another method might be to urge smokers to decrease the harmful effects of smoking by only smoking half a cigarette. These are some of the methods that would be introduced in smoking cessation programs, which violators of the policy may be required to attend.