Tobacco and Smoke FreeFor the health and safety of our community and environment, Mt. San Antonio College is a Smoke-Free, Tobacco Free, and Vape-Free campus.

Policy and Procedures

no smoking, vape, or tobacco useSmoke and Tobacco-Free Campus Policy

Mt. San Antonio College is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for its students, employees, and visitors. Considering evidence that the use of tobacco and nicotine, as well as exposure to secondhand smoke and aerosol (commonly referred to as “vapor”) from electronic smoking devices pose significant health and environmental hazards, the College has established a smoke, vapor, and tobacco-free environment.  The use of any form of tobacco, including vaping and electronic smoking devices, is prohibited on all College properties, grounds, and buildings within Mt. San Antonio College, including parking lots and in all College-owned and leased vehicles.  Read the full policy, BP 3565 Smoking on Campus and AP 3565 Smoking on Campus.

Why Quit Smoking?

Mt. SAC is a Smoke, Tobacco, Vape-Free Campus!

  • Smoking Cigarettes is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.
  • Vaping is NOT a healthy alternative to smoking. E-cigarettes contain addictive nicotine and may include other toxic chemicals and known carcinogens
  • According to the CDC (2014), almost 70% of current adult smokers in the US want to quit smoking completely.
  • People who stop smoking significantly reduce their risk for disease and early death and enjoy a higher quality of life. Smokers' health improves within minutes of smoking their last cigarette as well as in the years to come.
  • Health after Quitting

    Health Benefits

    Time Since Quitting Health Benefit
    20 minutes Heart rate and blood pressure drop
    12 hours Carbon monoxide level in the blood drops to normal
    2-12 weeks Circulation improves and lung function increases
    1-9 months Coughing and shortness of breath decrease
    1 year Risk of coronary heart disease is about half that of a smoker
    5 years Stroke and cervical cancer risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker and risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus and bladder are about half that of a smoker
    10 years Risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker and the risk of cancer of the larynx and pancreas decreases
    15 years The risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmoker's

    Additional Benefits

    • Breathe easier and increase stamina and endurance when exercising
    • Improve health overall with less coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath
    • Feel more energetic and confident
    • Save money
    • Smell better (i.e., no more smoky house, clothes, hair, car, etc.)
    • Improve sense of smell and taste
    • Whiter teeth and fresher breath
    • No more stains on fingers/fingernails
    • Sharper thinking
    • More social acceptance
    • No longer expose family and friends to secondhand smoke


    How Smokers Get Hooked

    Nicotine and the Body

    • Nicotine is a highly addictive drug found naturally in tobacco.
    • When a smoker inhales tobacco smoke, nicotine is absorbed into the bloodstream through the lungs and carried to every part of the body along with carbon monoxide and other toxins.
    • Over time, smokers develop a tolerance to nicotine as their nervous system adapts to it, which leads to an increase in smoking to keep the level of nicotine in the blood at a comfortable range and avoid withdrawal symptoms.
    • Smoking regularly for only a few weeks will lead to withdrawal symptoms should the person suddenly stop using or significantly reduce their use.
    • Withdrawal symptoms are both physical and mental and they can last for a few days or several weeks. Symptoms of nicotine withdrawal may include dizziness, anxiety, irritability, depression, poor concentration, headaches, sleep disturbances, increased appetite, restlessness, fatigue and strong cravings for nicotine.
    • In order to quit for good, the physical, mental and emotional dependence on nicotine must be addressed. Although possible, this is NOT easy! Breaking an addiction to nicotine can be as difficult as overcoming an addiction to heroin or cocaine.
    Health Risks

    Smoking and Tobacco Use

    • Smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the US. According to the CDC (2014), "nearly half a million Americans die prematurely from tobacco use each year." On average, smokers die at least 10 years earlier than nonsmokers.
    • Studies have linked smoking to diseases in almost every organ of the body. Smoking can cause mouth, throat, lung, stomach, kidney, bladder, cervix, and other types of cancer, heart and lung disease, stroke, diabetes, and reproductive issues. (Source)
    • In general, smokers have more health issues than nonsmokers because smoking compromises the immune system, which makes it difficult for the body to fight disease and infection.
    • For young adults, nicotine exposure can have lasting effects on brain development. Youth who smoke are also in danger of becoming addicted to nicotine and lung growth and function may be reduced.
    • People exposed to secondhand smoke are at risk for many of the same health problems as smokers including heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer. According to the American Cancer Society (2012), the majority of secondhand smoke deaths are among women and children.


    Smoking and the Environment

    • The tobacco industry causes 500,000 acres of deforestation per year, which equates to an area 5 times the size of Las Vegas.
    • In many poor countries, where tobacco is made, wood is burned to dry out the leaves. It takes up to 5.7 pounds of wood to dry the leaves for only one pack of cigarettes (NOT including the paper on the cigarette or the packaging).
    • An entire tree is burned to cure the tobacco necessary for just 15 packs of cigarettes (i.e., about a 2 week supply for a pack-a-day smoker).
    • A cigarette-manufacturing machine uses 4 miles of paper per hour to roll and package cigarettes.
    Cigarette Butts are "Hazardous Waste"
    • Cigarette butts leach toxic chemicals (e.g., arsenic, cadmium, lead, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) that pollute the environment, kill marine life and harm ecosystems.
    • Gersberg (2009) found that the chemicals in only one filtered cigarette butt were toxic enough to kill fish living in a one-liter bucket of water.
    • Each year, an estimated 1.69 billion pounds of cigarette butts are littered worldwide.
    • When it rains, cigarette butts lying in the streets and gutters are washed into harbors, beaches and rivers where they harm marine life. Cigarette butts have been found in the stomachs of young birds, sea turtles and other marine creatures.
    • Cigarette filters are made of cellulose-acetate, which is not readily biodegradable. Cigarette butts can take up to 12 months to break down in fresh water and up to 5 years to breakdown in seawater.


    How to Quit Smoking


    How Dependent on Nicotine are you?


    Take the self-assessment survey


    How to quit smoking or using tobacco

    According to the U.S. Surgeon General, quitting smoking is the "single most important step smokers can take to enhance the length and quality of their lives."

    Breaking the addiction to nicotine is difficult and it usually takes several attempts before smokers are able to quit for good. However, the American Cancer Society (2014) recommends addressing the following four factors for long-term success:

    • Make the decision to quit: think about why you want to quit and explore your own motivation and commitment to doing so
    • Set a Quit Date and make a plan: decide when you would like to quit and how you want to do it
    • Deal with withdrawal symptoms: address both the physical and mental withdrawal symptoms you are experiencing via smoking cessation, nicotine replacement therapy, medication or other methods
    • Stay tobacco-free (maintenance): determine how you will cope with strong cravings and slips or relapse

    There is no one right way to quit smoking. Once a smoker or tobacco user has made the decision to quit and set a quit date, most approach the task in one of two ways:

    • Cold Turkey: quit smoking abruptly and completely on the quit date with no medication or nicotine replacement therapy (most preferred method)
    • Gradual Reduction: cut back little-by-little as the quit date approaches to reduce the dependency on nicotine (e.g., smoke one less cigarette each day, smoke only half of each cigarette, postpone lighting your cigarette for an extra hour each day)


    Strategies to break the addiction

    Studies have shown that the most effective quit plans typically involve a combination of treatment and support addressing both the physical and mental addiction to nicotine.

    Mental addition

    • Smoking Cessation: FREE one-on-one support with a smoking cessation specialist through the Center for Health and Wellness Promotion.
    • Support Groups: attend Nicotine Anonymous meetings to gain support from other smokers trying to quit.
    • Online, App or Phone-based support systems

    Physical addiction

    • Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT): products that help relieve some of the physical withdrawal symptoms experienced when quitting by providing a dose of nicotine (i.e., nicotine patch, gum, and lozenges)
    • Your Smoking Cessation counselor or doctor at the Student Health Center can help you determine the most appropriate NRT for you.
    • A doctor at the Student Health Center may prescribe medication to help you quit smoking if needed.


    Additional strategies to improve your chances of success

    Avoid temptation

    • Avoid situations, people and places that may tempt you to smoke.
    • Spend more time in smoke-free areas and keep cigarettes, lighters and ashtrays out of sight.
    • Ask friends and family members that smoke NOT to smoke around you.

    Change your habits

    • Find new habits: Instead of smoking, find new activities in which to engage (e.g., running, cooking, painting, surfing, etc.).
    • Drink more water: Avoid alcohol and coffee.
    • For your mouth: use lollipops, gum, straws or carrot sticks as substitutes
    • For your hands: keep your hands busy by exercising, doing needlework, fiddling with clips or other small items, or reading a book
    • Relax and Breathe: use diaphragmatic breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, visualization, and meditation to help manage stress. Breathe deeply and visualize your lungs filling with fresh, clean air.
    • Delay: when you get the urge to smoke, try to wait for at least 10 minutes, as the feeling will often pass
    • Reward yourself: because quitting isn't easy, it's important to reward yourself for your efforts. Use the money typically spent on cigarettes to do something fun or buy a weekly treat.
    • Plan something enjoyable to do everyday.

    3 Steps to get a Free Smoking Kit


    Student Health Services
    (909) 274 - 4400
    to make an appointment


    Meet with a licensed medical professional for a 15-minute appointment.
    Bldg. 9E-2300


    Receive your FREE Smoking Cessation medication, if needed. Choose from:

    • Nicotine Lozenges
      (retail price would be $39.99)
    • Nicotine Transdermal Patch
      (retail price would be $270)
    • Nicotine Gum
      (retail price would be $44.99)
    Schedule a new appointment with the nurse each time your need a medication refill.


    Support and Resources

    • for Students


      Student Health

      • Student Health Center | Bldg. 9E and 67B
        Make an appointment today at  (909) 274 -4400
        Offering Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)to help provide relief of withdrawal symptoms people experience when they quit smoking. This includes patches, gum, and lozenges free of charge for any student enrolled in 1 or more credit and have paid their student health fee.



      Texting or App Services

      Live Counseling Services

      1. California Smokers' Helpline:  1-800-NO-BUTTS
      2. Quit Smoking - CDC Website: 1-800-QUIT-NOW
    • for Employees


      Employee Counseling Services (ECC)

      • ECC Website | Bldg. 7 -1107
        Make and appointment today at
        (909) 274 - 6211
        Offering a variety of services for the Mt. San Antonio College employee community including free, voluntary and confidential counseling, workshops, information and referrals. Bilingual counseling in Spanish is also available.

      Professional & Organizational Development (POD)



      Anthem Blue Cross

      • Toll-Free 1-800-999-7222
        Employee Assistance Programs
        - Live Tobacco Free
        Want to kick the habit for good?
        No matter how long you’ve used tobacco, Employee Assistance Program’s Live Tobacco Free program can help. The program offers a powerful blend of online support and one-on-one coaching. Together they can help break your tobacco habit for good.

      Blue Shield California - Wellvolution

      • 1 (866) 671-9644  |
        Unveiling your personal proven path to real health
        Tap into decades of research and leading technology for a more productive and healthy lifestyle. Wellvolution® offers the largest curated collection of scienctifically-backed apps and programs design to help you: prevent and reverse disease, manage stress, sleep better, eat healthier, move more, ditch cigarettes and more. 

      Kaiser Permanente

      • 1 (866) 862-4295 | 
        Connect with a wellness coach today. Healthier tomorrows start here. Your coach can help put you at the top of your health game. Ready for a change but don’t know where to start? Our wellness coaches are health professionals trained in proven coaching methods — and they’re just a phone call away. You’ll work with one dedicated coach who can help you overcome obstacles that are holding you back and achieve your health and wellness goals. Achieve a healthy weight, stop using tobacco, become more active, reduce stress, eat healthier.


    Resources for Everyone

    Support groups and telephone-based counseling

    In addition to the FREE smoking and tobacco cessation available on campus, you may wish to take advantage of the following resources


    Online support and tools to help you quit


    National health associations and websites to keep you informed


    Free mobile app-based support