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Indian River State College Celebrates One Year Tobacco Free Campus (Great American Smokeout Day)

By Arlease Hall

November 14, 2018

Indian River State College (IRSC) will celebrate their one-year anniversary as a 100% Tobacco free and Smokefree campus at their annual Great American Smoke Out (GASO) event. Thursday, November 15, 2018, main campus location 3209 Virginia Avenue, Fort Pierce, FL  34981 at the Koblegard Student Union (KSU).

On August 1, 2017, IRSC implemented the policy to make the College a Tobacco free and Smokefree campus.  The policy prohibits smoking and the use of smokeless tobacco products, including electronic nicotine devices at all IRSC facilities and campuses.  IRSC joins 25 – other colleges and university campuses in Florida that are 100% Tobacco free.

The GASO event raises awareness about the dangers of smoking and the many effective resources available to help smokers successfully quit.  IRSC is partnering with Tobacco Free Partnership of St. Lucie County to provide students and employees information about their on-site: “Tools to Quit” Smoking Cessation classes, benefits to quitting, and tobacco control education.  Healthy St. Lucie is schedule to be onsite at the event to help register those who would like to join the Billion Steps Challenge, a community-wide movement to increase physical activity and healthy living.  Students, faculty, and staff will have the opportunity to support anyone thinking of quitting by joining the Billion Steps Challenge.

Research shows that Tobacco free campus policies are effective.  These policies reduce exposure to secondhand smoke, significantly change attitudes toward tobacco, and contribute to a decline in cigarette smoking prevalence[i]

A Tobacco free campus policy protect students, faculty and staff from involuntary exposure to secondhand smoke, which is a deadly mix of 7,000 chemicals, at least 250 that are toxic and about 70 can cause cancer. [ii]

According to the U.S. Surgeon General, there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. [iii] 

Not only does a Tobacco free campus policy benefit the health of students, it also helps change social norms and sends a clear message that tobacco use is unacceptable.  Everyday 1,300 people in the United State die because of cigarette smoking.[iv]  

Big Tobacco knows, they need to recruit young people so that they don’t go out of business and then, they spend nearly $1 million an hour on marketing to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Tobacco is not just a concern of years past but is also a public health issue for this new generation.  We want to congratulate Indian River State College for becoming a Tobacco free campus and taking a stand against Big Tobacco.

To learn more, visit tobaccofreeflorida.com/colleges.

[i] William V. Lechner MS, Ellen Meier MS, Mary Beth Miller MS, Josh L. Wiener PhD & Yvon Fils-Aime MD (2012): Changes in Smoking Prevalence, Attitudes, and Beliefs Over 4 Years Following a Campus-Wide Anti-Tobacco Intervention, Journal of American College Health, 60:7, 505-511.

[ii] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US); National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (US); Office on Smoking and Health (US). How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US); 2010.

[iii] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A Report of the Surgeon General: How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: What It Means to You. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2010.

[iv] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking: 50 Years of Progress. A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014. Printed with corrections, January 2014.