CCAC adopts policy to achieve college-wide smoke-free, tobacco-free environment
PITTSBURGH—The Community College of Allegheny County Board of Trustees has approved a smoke- and tobacco-free policy that will prohibit the use of smoke and tobacco products on college property by students, staff, faculty and administrators. The policy, which also prohibits the use of electronic cigarettes and vaping devices, will go into effect on January 17 to coincide with the first day of classes of the spring 2017 term.
The policy is the result of CCAC’s participation in the Truth Initiative’s Smoke-Free & Tobacco-Free Community College Grant Initiative. The Truth Initiative (formerly the Legacy Foundation) is a national public health organization created as a result of the 1998 major settlement with the tobacco companies, and the community college grants initiative is designed to assist community colleges in creating healthy, productive and safe environments for student success with the goal of the adoption of a 100-percent smoke-free or tobacco-free campus policy.
CCAC was one of 100 public community colleges around the country selected in 2015 to participate in this effort and received a grant to support efforts to make tobacco use or smoking a thing of the past for those on campus. The program advocates that going tobacco- or smoke-free protects students, staff and faculty from second-hand smoke and encourages students to make healthy choices by rejecting tobacco use, which is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States.
Data used in developing the program included the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s findings that 17.9 percent of students with an associate degree smoke compared to 9.1 percent of students with an undergraduate degree. The effects of disproportionate tobacco industry marketing are believed to contribute to the increased use of tobacco in low socio-economic communities and in communities of color, which make up a growing population at community colleges.
Informational sessions have taken place and teams have been established at all CCAC campuses to formulate the best plans for implementation and communication of the policy. Smoking cessation classes and resources are being provided at each campus and center and made available to all students and employees. Contractors and other visitors will be asked to respect CCAC’s smoke-free, tobacco-free environment.
For more information about CCAC’s smoke-free and tobacco-free policy and for links to smoking cessation resources, visit ccac.edu/SmokeFree.