Planning to light up on your way to class? Think again. Starting last week, Macomb Community College is a tobacco-free zone.
Joining hundreds of other colleges and universities across the nation, MCC has banned the use of all tobacco and smoking simulation products and devices on its grounds, including the Center Campus in Clinton Township.
“In recognition of the health and economic benefits that result from a tobacco-free environment, Macomb Community College has adopted a revised smoking policy,” said Hunter Wendt, MCC general counsel. “While the policy prohibits use of all tobacco and smoking simulation products and devices on college grounds, it is also is designed to respect individual preferences related to tobacco use and makes provisions for use in personal vehicles and in designated parking lots on college properties.”
Placards at the walkways leading onto campus and trash cans bearing the no smoking sign are now in place to remind students and professors that MCC is tobacco-free.
For MCC student Randy Martin, the ban has been a long time coming.
“It speaks to their social responsibility that they’re taking a stance on it. I wish all businesses would take this stance,” he said. “We try to protect one group’s rights while infringing on another’s. I don’t care if you smoke, but I don’t want to have to walk through it.”
The ban also has the support of students Samantha Hibbert and Michael Gerardy.
“I’m allergic to smoke, so it’s great for me,” Hibbert said. “My grandma was also just diagnosed with cancer, so anything that discourages smoking among young people has my support.”
Gerardy said he was surprised to learn that MCC didn’t have a ban in place earlier.
“I thought they always had a smoking ban. To be honest, I think it’s a good choice. I don’t like cigarettes at all. The things they do to you are terrible.”
Although cigarettes are one of the smoking devices addressed by the ban, all tobacco products and even simulated smoking products – such as electronic cigarettes – fall under the ban, which is now posted in the college’s rules and regulations:
Effective November 15, 2012, no person shall smoke, chew or otherwise use tobacco, tobacco products, or smoking simulation products or devices, on, in or upon property owned or leased by the College, except in public or staff parking lots, or in non-college vehicles. Use proper receptacles for disposal.
MCC joins more than 825 campuses across the U.S. that are smoke-free with no exemptions and approximately 608 that have a 100 percent tobacco-free policy in place, according to an October report from the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation.
Oakland Community College passed its own tobacco ban in March and beginning Sept. 1, the use of all tobacco products was barred on OCC property, with the exception of electronic cigarettes.