The designated smoking areas at Seminole State College of Florida came down on the first day of classes Monday.
Officials said the college's District Board of Trustees voted unanimously April 15 to ban tobacco use on all campuses beginning with the start of the 2013 Fall Term.
The ban is part of a wellness initiative that includes a proposed wellness center at the Sanford/Lake Mary Campus, officials said.
Officials said the use of all tobacco products is banned on all six Seminole State sites, which includes parking lots and tobacco use in personal vehicles while on college property.
Students tell Local 6 the no new tobacco policy is creating more traffic between classes.
"I see a whole bunch of students, who smoke, speeding just to go smoke their cigarette real quick," said Austin Landgraff, adding that the smoke ban interferes with class time. "I think it affects learning, students are late to class causing a disruption and causing a whole bunch of grief."
Nationwide, at least 1,182 colleges and universities have instituted tobacco-free policies, according to Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights.
The smoking areas were created in 2006, when the college banned smoking except for in designated areas.
Seminole State operates six sites in Central Florida, including campuses in Altamonte Springs, Heathrow, Oviedo and Sanford/Lake Mary and has nearly 32,000 students.
According to the policy:
- Tobacco of any kind, in any form shall be prohibited at Seminole State College. This includes but is not limited to tobacco used in cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and electronic cigarettes. Snuff, chewing tobacco, and other tobacco products are also prohibited.
- The use of tobacco of any kind shall be prohibited on all College owned, operated, leased, and/or controlled properties and facilities such as: buildings, bridges, walkways, sidewalks, parking lots and garages, on-campus streets and driveways, grounds, and exterior open spaces.
- Tobacco use shall be prohibited in all College leased or owned vehicles both on and off College property.
- Tobacco use shall be prohibited in all personal vehicles while on College property.
- The sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products, and the free distribution of tobacco products are prohibited.
- This policy does not apply to off-campus facilities leased or used by the College for college events or functions. On those occasions, the tobacco policy of the facility shall be applicable.
- The President or designee is authorized to develop procedures to implement this policy.
For more information on the policy, go to www.seminolestate.edu/tobaccofree.
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