The Santa Barbara Community College District Board of Trustees voted Thursday to change Santa Barbara City College to a tobacco-free, smoke-free campus.

For the past nine years, SBCC has been a nonsmoking campus with designated smoking areas. The change in designation is effective Aug. 5, which is three weeks prior to the beginning of fall semester on Aug. 26.

The recommendation to move to tobacco-free was made to the Board of Trustees earlier in June after extensive discussion and debate among campus constituents, including the College Planning Council composed of faculty, administrators, staff and students.

The recommendation cited the following reasons for the proposed change:

» to maintain a workplace that is conducive to the health and safety of students and employees

» to eliminate the health hazards presented by second-hand smoke

» to curtail discarded cigarette butts resulting in trash on campus and beach and ocean pollution

The new tobacco-free, smoke-free policy will apply throughout SBCC’s main campus on Cliff Drive and the Schott Center and Wake Center and also includes campus venues at which visitors and the general community attend public events.

“As an academic institution, we have a responsibility to foster practices that address the education of the ‘whole’ student,” SBCC President Lori Gaskin said. “Maintaining one’s health, fitness and well-being are an important part of being a student, and becoming a completely nonsmoking campus communicates this message with great clarity and commitment.

“Further, I believe that we assume a role as an institution with an eye toward the public good. Indeed, that’s what public education really is all about. That smoking impacts some who choose not to smoke (through secondary impacts) certainly has bearing on the public good.”

SBCC will continue to make smoking cessation programs available to students, faculty and staff through Student Health Services and Human Resources.

— Joan Galvan is a public information officer for SBCC.