Daily Press: TNCC’s new smoking policy starts


Published: July 2, 2009

The Daily Press

Puff away: New smoking policies at Thomas Nelson Community College are much less restrictive than originally proposed.

The smoking policies for both the Hampton campus and the new building in James City County opening this summer went into effect Wednesday. They follow state guidelines that prohibit smoking within 25 feet of exterior building entrances and exits but allow it elsewhere outdoors, as well as in designated gazebos.

The state’s 25-foot buffer is designed to ensure that people don’t have to walk through smoke to get to the nonsmoking areas. Smoking is not allowed in any of the college’s buildings.

Officials floated a proposal last winter that would have restricted smoking on the Hampton campus to gazebos 25 feet from building entrances. It also proposed making the Historic Triangle campus completely smoke-free, including in parking lots and the interiors of students’ cars.

Students and college officials said at the time that such tough restrictions would be difficult to enforce. Among them was Charles Nurnberger, TNCC’s vice president for finance and administration, who directs the facilities management and enforcement angles of the college’s smoking policy.

TNCC’s Student Government Association conducted a student survey in March to gauge support for the changes. The results were compiled and reviewed at a closed April 8 college council meeting.

The main change to TNCC’s policies is that smokers are moved away from entrance doors.

The new policy also states that ash urns be used for disposal of smoking waste and that smoking is banned inside all state-owned vehicles.

The policy outlines the consequences of violating the policy, which are a warning for a first offense, followed by college disciplinary action and upon a third violation, turning the situation over to law enforcement, who could issue a summons that “may result in a fine of up to $25 and/or court appearance.”



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