Tobacco Free Campus

Tobacco-Free Campus Initiative

DACC is committed to providing its staff and students with a safe and healthy environment. To this end, As of Aug. 1st, 2012, Danville Area Community College is a tobacco-free campus. Reasons we are have chosen to become a tobacco-free campus include:

  1. The exposure to second-hand smoke at building entrances and exits
  2. The desire to ensure clean air for all who come to campus
  3. The presence of underage students on campus
  4. Tobacco litter throughout campus grounds

We invite you to read through the information provided below, and ask any questions you may have. Join us in creating a healthier place to learn and work!

Facts from the U.S. Surgeon General's Report

The US Surgeon General’s 2010 Report, “How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease,” states that there is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke. Any exposure to tobacco smoke – even an occasional cigarette or exposure to secondhand smoke – is harmful. It also states:

  • You don’t have to be a heavy smoker or a long-time smoker to get a smoking-related disease or have a heart attack or asthma attack that is triggered by tobacco smoke.
  • Low levels of smoke exposure, including exposures to secondhand tobacco smoke, lead to a rapid and sharp increase in dysfunction and inflammation of the lining of the blood vessels, which are implicated in heart attacks and stroke.

In addition, The 2006 US Surgeon General’s Report, “The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke,” has concluded that:

  • Secondhand smoke exposure causes disease and premature death in children and adults who do not smoke
  • Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at an increase risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), acute respiratory problems, ear infections, and asthma attacks, and that smoking by parents causes respiratory symptoms and slows lung growth in their children
  • Exposure of adults to secondhand smoke has immediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular system and causes coronary heart disease and lung cancer
  • There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Establishing smoke-free workplaces is the only effective way to ensure that secondhand smoke exposure does not occur in the workplace
  • Evidence from peer-reviewed studies shows that smoke-free policies and laws do not have an adverse economic impact
  1. What does “Tobacco-free mean?”
    “Tobacco free” means that DACC is completely free from tobacco products. No consumption of tobacco or tobacco products is allowed on any college property or in any college facility. “Tobacco” is defined to include any lighted or unlighted cigarette, cigar, pipe, bidi, clove cigarette, and any other smoking products or products that appear to be a cigarette. This also includes smokeless or spit tobacco, also known as dip, chew, snuff or snus, in any form.
  2. Isn’t it my right to use tobacco?
    Tobacco is a legal product that can be purchased and possessed at the discretion of any adult; however, the use of tobacco is subject to restrictions. This is evidenced by the numerous public restrictions on the use of tobacco, which have been put into place by state laws as well as by businesses and organizations throughout the state and the nation. DACC is not taking away anyone’s right to smoke or purchase and/or possess tobacco. However, one of our institutional goals is to create an environment for our students, staff and visitors that is safe and healthy. Therefore, out of respect for others and the environment, DACC is a tobacco free campus.

  3. What other freedoms will DACC take away?
    While we don’t perceive we are taking away anyone’s rights or freedoms, we do understand those concerns that have arisen as a result of the move to a tobacco free campus. If there is any other freedom in which those involved are shown to be disrespectful to others around and to the surrounding environment, the possible removal of those freedoms would be explored as well. DACC will continue to set policies that create an environment that is safe and healthy for our students, staff, and visitors.

  4. Why can’t the state law which states those using tobacco products must stay at least 15 feet away from all entrances be better enforced instead? Or why not have designated smoking areas instead?
    The 2006 US Surgeon General’s Report, “The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke,” has concluded that exposure to secondhand smoke has immediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, and that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. In addition, according to the World Health Organization, there is no safe level of secondhand smoke and the only effective way to protect others is to establish 100% smoke free environments. Because of these findings, and because there is no way to prevent exposure to second hand smoke when using designated areas, DACC has chosen to adopt a policy that states that the use of tobacco products is prohibited on DACC campus.

  5. Won’t we lose students if we enforce a tobacco-free campus?
    The most current information according to the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation is that at least 530 colleges and universities in the US have enacted 100% smoke-free campus policies ( Ty Patterson, Director of the Center of Excellence for Tobacco Free Campus Policy at Ozark Technical College, who has assisted hundreds of college campuses in establishing a 100% smoke free campus policy, states, “We know of no institution that has experienced a decline in enrollment as a result of a smoke free policy.” While we don’t expect to lose students due to the adoption of a tobacco-free campus policy, if a student chooses to go to a college/university that does not have such a policy for their education that is their right to do so.

  6. Is there enough DACC security officers to ensure a smoke-free campus?
    The approach the college is taking with regard to enforcement of the policy is multi-faceted and involves not only security but also key individuals that will be the ones to guide the enforcement aspect of the initiative. These individuals are from all areas of campus, and involve not only administration but also faculty and support staff. They have received training on how to approach someone who is found to be using tobacco products on campus. The emphasis of the interaction will be that of respect, education, and compliance of the policy. That being said, those that are found to be repeatedly in violation of the policy will face further disciplinary measures which may (for students) lead up to and include expulsion and/or suspension. Employees that are repeatedly found to be using tobacco products will also face disciplinary actions according to policies currently in place.

  7. Who should I talk to if I have questions?
    All members of the Tobacco-Free Campus Task Force want to ensure an environment of respect and open communication is maintained. You may direct questions and comments to We appreciate your questions and comments, and may use them for additional FAQs on this webpage.

Members of the Tobacco-Free Task Force

Lara Conklin, Executive Director, College Relations
Stacy Ehmen, Vice President, Student Services
Dr. Penny McConnell, Assistant Vice President Academic Affairs
Candace McNeal, Assistant Director, Financial Aid
Maurice Miller, Professor, Psychology
Tammy Howard, Director, Medical Imaging


Scientific evidence indicates that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.

  • Tobacco smoke hurts anyone who breathes it. When you breathe secondhand smoke, platelets in your blood get sticky and may form clots, just like in a person who smokes.
  • Separating smokers from non-smokers, cleaning the air, and ventilating buildings cannot eliminate secondhand smoke exposure.
  • Smoking around others increases their risk for heart attack and death. By not smoking, you help protect your family, friends, and co-workers.
  • Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or at work increase their risk of developing heart disease by 25-30%, and their risk of developing lung cancer by 20-30%.
  • A public smoking ban drastically cut heart attacks. Pueblo, Colorado banned smoking in work places and all public areas in July 2003. The number of people hospitalized for heart attack dropped 41% in three years.
  • In the United States alone, each year secondhand smoke is responsible for:
    • An estimated 46,000 deaths from heart disease in non-smokers who live with smokers
    • About 3,400 lung cancer deaths in non-smoking adults
    • 50,000 to 300,000 lung infections (such as pneumonia and bronchitis) in children younger than 18 months of age, which result in 7,500 to 15,000 hospitalizations annually
    • Pregnant women exposed to secondhand smoke are also at increased risk of having low birth- weight babies
  • The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), also recommends that secondhand smoke be considered a possible carcinogen in the workplace. Because there are no known safe levels, they recommend that exposures to secondhand smoke be reduced to the lowest possible levels.
  • A 2009 report by the Institute of Medicine confirmed that secondhand smoke is a cause of heart attacks, and concluded that relatively brief exposure could trigger a heart attack.
  • Cigarettes are the most littered item in America and the world.
  • Cigarette filters are made of cellulose acetate tow fibers, and they can take decades to degrade.
  • The toxic residue in cigarette filters is damaging to the environment, and littered butts cause numerous fires every year, some of them fatal.


Links & Resources

Colleges and Universities that have gone 100% smokefree:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fact sheet on secondhand smoke: 

Facts about secondhand smoke from the American Lung Association:

Facts about secondhand smoke from the American Cancer Society:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Within 20 Minutes of Quitting:

Smoking Cessation Resources:

The Surgeon General’s 2010 report, “How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease,” a Guide for Consumers

Tobacco Cessation Programs Available on Campus

Illinois Quit Line:
DACC had entered into a partnership with the Illinois Tobacco Quitline (ITQL), a free program that offers individualized, confidential counseling and support from trained Registered Nurses, Respiratory Therapists, and Tobacco Addiction Specialists. In addition to counseling, those who continue to be active in the program will also receive free nicotine replacement patches to further assist you to be successful at quitting. In fact, even without the nicotine replacement therapy, the Illinois Quitline states that, "almost 60% of Quitline callers quit smoking." To sign up for the program, contact Shelby at For more information, check out the ITQL website at, or call 1-866-QUIT-YES.

Freedom From Smoking Program:
If you feel you will be more successful in a classroom/group setting, DACC will also be offering Freedom From Smoking classes, beginning this fall. Developed by the American Lung Association, the Freedom From Smoking program helps you work through the process of quitting in a group setting. 8 classes will be offered over a 7-week period, each class is 2 hours in length and lead by trained instructors. Nicotine replacement therapy will also be used in conjunction with the program to assist in increasing success at quitting. According to the American Lung Association, "People who use the program are six times more likely to be smoke-free one year later than those who quit on their own." Classes will be offered through Corporate and Community Education; there will be a small fee for this program. For more information, contact Shelby at