The College has an obligation to provide a safe and healthy learning and work environment. Every student, employee and visitor has the right to breathe clean air and not be exposed to the effects of smoke and tobacco. Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, therefore, establishes the following tobacco-free policy:
Smoking and use of tobacco products will not be permitted anywhere on the campus, including centers, campus buildings, sidewalks, parking lots, building entrances and common areas, and in college-owned vehicles.
The tobacco-free policy is part of the college’s commitment to creating a healthy environment for all members of our college community, and is designed to be positive and health directed.
If you notice a violation of the policy, please strive to be non-confrontational and respectful to tobacco users when communicating our policy. Additionally, tobacco users are expected to adhere to the policy and likewise be respectful to former tobacco and non-tobacco users.
Intentional and unintentional violations at any college location will not be tolerated. Enforcement of the policy will be achieved through education, awareness and a spirit of cooperation; however, employees who repeatedly violate the policy will be disciplined according to statement 212.4.1. Students found in violation will face conduct charges applicable to Statement 717.
Penalties for violating the tobacco-free policy include students charged $25 for the first violation, with a fine increase of $25 per violation. A third violation will result in conduct charges applicable to Statement 717.
The college will offer Smoking Cessation Clinics and free cessation products through the Mississippi Tobacco-Free Coalition. These clinics and materials will be made available to employees, their families and students on each college campus and center.
I want to quit smoking or using tobacco products. How do I begin?
- New habits, like quitting smoking, have a better chance of success if planned ahead of time.
- Know why you want to quit smoking and write down your reasons.
- New habits should always include long-term and short-term goals as well as ideas for getting past barriers for success.
- It’s important to start with small, short-term goals that are reasonable.
- Always seek support from family and friends.
Understanding Why I Should Stop Smoking
- Because you have a specific health concern (heart, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or something else).
- Because you want to feel better, breathe easier and have more energy.
- Because you want to set examples for others to follow.
How to Start a Plan
- Set realistic goals.
- Track your progress daily.
- Always consider barriers and what you can do to avoid them or deal with them.
- Get support from others.
- Use innovative ideas for tracking your success, like posting it on Facebook or on a calendar in your home, office or dorm room, where you are not only keeping record of your progress but get kudos and support from family and friends.