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All Smoking and Vaping Banned at OCC Indoor & Out Starting Thursday

OCC Students inside.jpg
WAER File Photo
OCC Students and staff will no longer be able to smoke or vape anywhere on campus, inside or out. New Policy take place July 1.

Students and staff of Onondaga Community College will have a smoke-free campus – both inside and out – thanks to a new policy that goes into place Thursday. Dean of Students Scott Schuhert (SHOE-hurt) says the prime reason was for the health of students and everyone else on campus. But he believes the policy can have a job-training aspect as well, with many community organizations being entirely smoke free.

“We definitely wanted to create an environment where our students are able to prepare for their future workplaces, learn what it’s like at a location that is smoke free, while also giving them cessation resources. We feel that this is a great time and a good place to learn that before they’re out there in the workforce.”

All types of vaping and e-cigarettes are also included in the ban, for both health reasons and the possible nuisance to others.

“We fill that the material that can being vaped, not being able to make a determination on whether it’s a tobacco product or not tobacco product, the distraction, the odor, the nuisance that it could cause others, (and) we’re not sure what’s being vaped. It just posed too much ambiguity for us to try to, ‘you’re allowed to vape this, but you’re not allowed to vape that.’”

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Outdoor gathering places at OCC will no longer have smoke or vaping steam hanging in the air after new all-campus smoking ban

Schuhert hopes discipline for the new policy can be taken care of on a peer-to-peer basis.

“We’re looking to empower our students to hold each other accountable. And I have no problem if an individual is smoking, to go outside and say, ‘Hey, just a reminder, you’re not supposed to be smoking on campus. Thanks very much.’ My hope is that this doesn’t turn into a disciplinary issue. That being said, if there’s somebody who continues to violate the policy, then we do have a student conduct process.”

A similar process would be in place for staff or faculty who repeatedly ignore the new rule, handled through human resources. Schuhert notes he’s heard very little push-back, as both staff and students have been aware of the developing ban. He adds resources are available right on campus for both students and staff who might want to use the new policy as motivation to stop smoking.