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Smoke-Free IVC

Smoke-free Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Irvine Valley College going tobacco-free?

IVC seeks to provide a clean and healthy environment for all students, employees and visitors. A tobacco-free campus policy:

  • Protects IVC students, faculty, staff and visitors from unwanted and involuntary exposure to tobacco and passive smoke; and
  • Provides motivation for tobacco users to get the help they need to quit for good.

Why does the proposed policy include smokeless tobacco?

A tobacco-free policy sends a consistent health message by not implying that smokeless forms of tobacco are safe. There are no safe forms or levels of tobacco use.

Why is tobacco so bad for my health?

The following are some facts on tobacco’s effects.


    • More than 16 million people have at least one disease from smoking.
    • More than 20 million Americans have died because of smoking since 1964, including roughly 2.5 million deaths due to exposure to secondhand smoke.
    • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among men and women in the United States, and 90% of lung cancer deaths among men and about 80% of lung cancer deaths among women are due to smoking.
    • 8.6 million people live with a serious illness caused by smoking.
    • On average, smokers die 13 to 14 years earlier than nonsmokers.

Regarding smokeless tobacco:

    • Smokeless tobacco contains at least 28 cancer-causing agents, according to the National Cancer Institute.
    • Smokeless tobacco can lead to oral cancers, gum disease and increased nicotine addiction, the U.S. surgeon general says. Snuff and Snus have been found to increase the risk of cancer, stroke and fatal cardiovascular disease, according to The International Agency for Research on Cancer.
    • While marketing of cigarettes is on the decline, marketing of smokeless products has risen 400% in the last 20 years, the Federal Trade Commission says. Associating the product with sports and adventure activities implies that use is part of a healthy lifestyle.

Are e-cigarettes included?

Yes, the policy prohibits all forms of tobacco and any nicotine delivery device that has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for cessation. In fact, the FDA on April 25, 2011, announced that e‐cigarettes would be regulated as tobacco products. National health agencies remain skeptical of the safety of these devices due to a lack of scientific data. 

To whom does the tobacco-free policy apply?

The tobacco-free policy will apply to every person on IVC’s campus, including students, faculty, staff, visitors, volunteers, contractors and service representatives.

Isn’t it my right to use tobacco?

Tobacco use is legal for adults. However, the college owns the campus property and can establish policies that protect the health of all campus members.

Does the IVC tobacco-free policy extend to other campus-owned property?

Smoking and using tobacco products are prohibited on all college property, including vehicles. This includes but is not limited to all parking lots, landscaped areas and recreational areas. Smoking is also prohibited inside buildings.

Will there be designated smoking areas on campus?

No. The use of tobacco will be prohibited on all campus grounds. Smoking zones and perimeter policies have not been found to be effective (or enforceable) and smoking shelters are expensive to construct and maintain. Campuses with full tobacco-free policies have reported fewer problems with compliance than policies that include smoking areas.

What about public events?

All events occurring on campus or on campus-property will be covered by the tobacco-free policy. Signage will be placed around campus to make sure everyone is clearly informed that IVC is a smoke-free campus.

How will the policy be enforced?

Initially, there will be an emphasis on education as the campus and community adapt to the policy. Violators will receive a friendly reminder, along with cessation information. Repeat or problem violations will be cited and fined up to $38.

What should I do if I see someone using tobacco on campus?

Everyone can take an active role in informing people that a tobacco-free policy is in effect. If there is an area where people are consistently violating the policy, please report this to Campus Police at 949-451-5234. If you see someone on campus smoking or using other tobacco products and want to let them know the IVC campus has gone smoke-free, you can use one of these example scripts.

How should I respond if someone gets angry or aggressive?

Do not continue to speak to anyone who becomes angry or confrontational. Walk away and report the behavior to Campus Police at 949-451-5234.

How can I quit (or help someone I know quit)?

There are many cessation resources to utilize:

    • Call the Health and Wellness Center at 949-451-5221.
    • Call California Smokers’ Helpline at 800-NO-BUTTS or visit
    • Call 1-800-QUIT NOW for tailored one-on-one coaching.
    • Call the American Lung Association Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA or
      1-800-586-4872 to speak to someone directly, or visit

Does IVC require people to stop smoking?

No, although there are health benefits for doing so. This policy simply means that no one can use tobacco products on campus.

Can I smoke inside my own vehicle?

Smoking while on IVC property, including inside a personal vehicle, is prohibited.

How should campus managers/supervisors talk to their employees about the policy?

We recommend that managers/supervisors remind employees of this policy and seek their cooperation with compliance. Please consult with Human Resources prior to implementing disciplinary action. It is important to emphasize that employees are not required to quit tobacco use, but that they must comply with IVC’s tobacco-free policy while on college property. If an employee indicates an interest in quitting tobacco use, direct him or her to available resources.​​​​