Amarillo College to become smoke-free school

Amarillo College to become smoke-free school

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Beginning August 1, all six Amarillo College campuses along with the outreach and technical training centers will be designated as smoke-free zones both inside and outdoors.

Currently, smoking and other use of tobacco products is not allowed in college buildings or permitted within 20 feet of entrances, but the campus has already begun making changes to prepare for the newest smokeless ban.

"On July 31, we will start taking down the ashtrays," said Steven Smith, Vice President of Business Affairs. "We've already started putting up temporary smoke-free signage and we have permanent signage going up right now."

The AC Board of Regents voted to make the college smokeless in response to a Student Government Association proposal in 2015. The policy ban was approved in January and stated the use of all smoking tobacco products and vaporizers will be prohibited.

But even with this new ban there are no regulations to make sure students will follow the new policy.

"We are not going to be out hiring a new smoking police," Smith said. "What we are going to do is talk to the students. We are going to explain to them, that this is no longer allowed on school grounds. We think that most people are going be considerate of their fellow students."

When the policy launches, it will not affect students who live inside the East Campus housing, but all campus walkways, parking lots and green spaces will be considered smoke free zones.

With this policy, it does not necessarily mean that the campus will remain completely tobacco-free.

"Everyone can have smokeless tobacco, and the reason is what we are trying to prevent was the second hand smoke that was affecting the other students," said Smith. "The problem with smoking is that it isn't really confined to yourself, when you smoke you're really making a choice for everyone else around you."

For those struggling with the ban, Amarillo College is offering free smoking cessation classes. These classes are available free for students and the public beginning in August and ending in December.

For more information or to register for a class, call the Amarillo College at (806) 356-3649.

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