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By: Al Macias on 06/29/2012
Smokers on the ten Maricopa County Community College campuses will have to go elsewhere to use tobacco. A new rule banning tobacco goes into effect July 1.KJZZ’s Al Macias reports.
AL MACIAS: The Maricopa County Community College District joins hundreds of other colleges and campuses across the country that are banning tobacco. Andrew Tucker says the “no smoking” rules apply outside the classrooms as well.
ANDREW TUCKER: All the spaces on our campuses which includes parking lots, lawns , what have you … all will be 100 percent tobacco free, so that means to use tobacco that means you have go somewhere outside of those boundaries.
MACIAS: Ramon Castillo works on the Rio Salado campus. He switched to an electric cigarette a month ago. But the new policy bans e-cigarettes as well. So he will have to go off campus.
RAMON CASTILLO: I guess it’s an inconvenience for smokers but it’s a good idea. As long as there’s shade, it’s not that far away.
MACIAS: Not all smokers agree. There was a small protest in May by smokers on the Scottsdale Community College campus. District spokesman Tucker says the district has been publicizing the ban for months.
TUCKER: The goal here really is to educate, and if there are repeat violations they will be taken up through the appropriate disciplinary channels as any other disciplinary action would be.
MACIAS: There are about 140,000 students on the campuses plus another 8,000 employees. Tucker says the district doesn’t have exact numbers but estimates about 15 percent of all students and employees smoke.
EDITOR'S NOTE: KJZZ is licensed to Rio Salado College, part of the Maricopa Community College District.