State College of Florida going smokefree

BRADENTON -- State College of Florida has adopted a tobacco-free campus policy.

The policy, which went into effect Jan. 3 at SCF's Lakewood Ranch campus, will be expanded to campuses in Bradenton, Venice, all other SCF properties, and SCF vehicles on May 9, according to a statement from SCF.

"This will expand on the current 'clean air' campus policy by eliminating designated smoking areas and prohibiting tobacco use on any SCF property. By adopting a proactive tobacco-free policy, SCF will join more than 250 American colleges and universities in helping lead our communities by providing clean air and a healthy environment for all students, employees and visitors," the statement said.

The policy bans tobacco use of all kinds on campus grounds, parking lots, college-sponsored off-campus events and SCF-owned vehicles.

This policy applies to students, employees and visitors.

In November, 2009, Lars Hafner, SCF president, told board members that students had been talking to him about the possibility of a tobacco-free campus.

“It’s a student-driven initiative," Hafner said, according to Bradenton Herald archives.

Under SCF's previous policy, smoking was prohibited inside every building, but smoking was allowed outdoors and in designated areas.

In SCF's most recent statement, it said a combination of awareness, educational, and wellness activities for students, employees and visitors will be provided.

"All tobacco users who want to quit will be provided free support. Free quit-smoking classes will be available. For free phone counseling, please call the Quitline at 1-877-U-CAN-NOW. Both services offer free nicotine patches," the statement said.