CCTC receives grant to address tobacco use on campus
Central Carolina Technical College receives grant to address tobacco use on campus
(04/22/2015) SUMTER, S.C. – Central Carolina Technical College announced its plan today to join a national movement to address smoking and tobacco use at community college campuses throughout the United States. Through a $5,000 grant from Legacy, the national public health organization responsible for the national truth® smoking prevention campaign, CCTC will encourage students, faculty and school administration to adopt a 100 percent smoke- and tobacco-free policy in Fall 2016.
“We are truly excited to start the process to make Central Carolina Technical College a safe, healthy and productive environment,” said Terry Booth, vice president of business affairs and chair of the college’s Wellness Team. “The health benefits of reducing secondhand smoke exposure are invaluable and could also help students prepare for the workforce where smoke-free policies are already the norm.”
CCTC is one of 38 community colleges around the country that are receiving funds, technical support and training from Legacy. The project will be led by the college’s Wellness Team, which includes staff and faculty committed to providing healthy campus initiatives.
Over the next year, CCTC will engage the campus community to address tobacco use. A taskforce will be formed to oversee the project, assess tobacco use behavior and attitudes, conduct prevention and educational activities and identify a treatment plan for current smokers. If the task force votes to propose a smoke- or tobacco-free policy, it must first be approved by the College’s Area Commission.
CCTC’s efforts are part of a growing trend to clean the air on campuses. Currently, more than 1,500 higher education institutions in the United States have gone smoke- or tobacco-free, including 330 community colleges. Through its first round of grants, the Legacy Community College Initiative hopes to reach more than half a million community college students and nearly 40,000 faculty/staff across 18 states.
“With 99 percent of smokers starting before age 27, college campuses are critical platforms for preventing young adults from starting tobacco use, aiding those current tobacco users in quitting and reducing exposure to secondhand smoke for all,” said Robin Koval, CEO and President of Legacy. “We are looking forward to supporting CCTC’s efforts to make smoking and tobacco use a thing of the past,” she added.
Today, 42 million Americans still smoke, and 22.5 percent of South Carolina adults smoke compared to the 19.6 percent national average. Tobacco use remains the number-one cause of preventable death in this country. Research also shows that there are dire health consequences for non-smokers too. Secondhand smoke exposure causes cancer and cardiovascular disease among other secondhand smoke diseases, responsible for more than 41,000 deaths in the U.S.
Community colleges in the U.S. serve almost half – 45 percent – of the undergraduate student population. With an enrollment of nearly 13 million, community colleges serve as an entryway to higher education for many students of color, low-income and first generation college degree earners.
“The grant from Legacy has set us up for success and I’m positive we can achieve our goals,” Booth said. “We are going to hit the ground running with our plan so that we can finally take a breath of fresh air on campus.”
A 100% tobacco-free policy prohibits the use of any tobacco product, such as cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, small cigars, pipes, hookah, smokeless tobacco (otherwise known as dip, chew, snuff, spit, and snus) and other smokeless products. It can also include electronic cigarettes. A comprehensive tobacco-free policy could also address tobacco sales, marketing, sponsorship and investments at colleges. A 100% smoke-free policy is one that prohibits the use of smoke-producing tobacco, such as cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, small cigars, pipes, hookah as well as e-cigarettes. Both policies apply to anyone on campus and on any campus property. For more information on model campus policies, visit Americans for Non-Smokers’ Rights. For more information on the grant, visit www.legacyforhealth.org/ccigrant.
WIS TV reporter Billie Jean Shaw films a news story on April 20 about the grant. See the story:http://www.wistv.com/story/28852330/central-carolina-technical-college-receives-grant-to-address-tobacco-use