Tobacco-Free Facility Policy Statement
In compliance with Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 71, Section 37H, the buildings of Mount Wachusett Community College will be designated as a tobacco-free environment. Employees, students, and visitors are restricted from using any tobacco product, including smoking or chewing tobacco, within any college building. Mount Wachusett Community College accepts this law as binding upon its students and employees as well as visitors to the campus. Smoking is prohibited in all state vehicles and in all buildings owned and leased by Mount Wachusett Community College. At the Gardner campus, smoking is only permitted in the two (2) designated smoking gazebos, located adjacent to parking lots B and C.
The college will fully implement this policy and all applicable laws, regulations, and local ordinances.
Mount Wachusett Community College is committed to a tobacco-free environment; and, reserves the right to initiate disciplinary procedures for employees, students and any individual found to be in violation of this policy.
Rationale for Policy
There is considerable evidence that concentrations of smoke are harmful to non-smokers, as well as smokers. Findings of the Surgeon General indicate that tobacco use in any form, active and passive, poses a significant health hazard. Mount Wachusett Community College has a responsibility to its employees and students to provide a safe and healthy environment. In its commitment to this, the campus facilities will be tobacco-free effective January 2, 2014 with the following exception: at the Gardner campus only, smoking will be permitted in the two (2) designated smoking gazebos, located adjacent parking lots B and C.
The Tobacco-Free Policy is intended to eliminate exposure to second-hand smoke, provide an environment supportive of tobacco-free lifestyles, eliminate the risk of accidental fire, eliminate the health risks associated with expectoration from smokeless tobacco, and eliminate the environmental impact of cigarette litter. It applies to all faculty members, staff, students, visitors, customers, vendors, consultants, contractors and their employees.
Implementation & Enforcement
The Division of Human Resources will work collaboratively with all appropriate college offices to coordinate efforts for policy notification, education, promotion, support, and assessment to ensure successful implementation.
All campus constituents have a collective responsibility to promote the safety and health of the campus community and, therefore, share in the responsibility of policy compliance. Individuals observed using tobacco in any form are to be reminded in a professional and courteous manner of the college policy. Referrals for addressing repeated violations of the policy should be addressed to the Division of Human Resources department for employees, the Senior Dean of Students for students and Campus Police for visitors and guests.
Tobacco Products: To include the personal use of any lighted or unlighted cigarette (clove, bidis, kreteks), e-cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, pipes, hookah products, and any other smoking product including vapes. Additionally, all spit or spitless tobaccos, dissolvable tobacco, dip, chew, snuff or snus, in any form is also considered a tobacco product for the purpose of this policy.
Personal Use: includes, but is not limited to, smoking, vaping, chewing or ingesting tobacco products. Personal use is also defined as possession of any lit tobacco product. Personal use does not preclude simple possession of unlit tobacco products, tobacco products as a prop in performance art or a material in artistic work, or in health awareness related courses, programs or training sessions, or any other activity protected by academic freedom.
Campus: All college grounds to include Mount Wachusett Community College owned, leased, supervised, or controlled properties and college owned, leased, or rented vehicles. This includes but is not limited to all college sidewalks, parking lots, landscaped areas, recreational areas, athletic fields, wooded areas; and in the interior of all buildings.
Individuals: To include all employees of the College, students of the College, visitors, customers, vendors, consultants, contractors and their employees.
Student & Employee Support for Tobacco-Free Assistance
Students may access support for smoking cessation and other related tobacco-free lifestyle supports through the MWCC Health Services Office. Additional resources are posted through the college’s website and portal.
This policy will be reviewed annually by the Union/Management Safety Committee and the college’s Leadership Team. Mount Wachusett Community College reserves the right to make changes to this policy at any time. Revisions and updated information concerning changes in this policy will be made available through official college publications including the College Catalog and Student Handbook and the Personnel Policies published electronically and in print.