Southern campuses to go tobacco-free

Staff Report

MT. GAY, W.Va. — Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College has announced it will go tobacco-free beginning July 1, 2017. The policy will take effect on all campuses and sites.

After this time, no tobacco use of any kind will be permitted on Southern property. This initiative will include the elimination of designated areas where employees, students and visitors are currently permitted to use tobacco products.

“We are committed to the health and safety of our employees and students,” Dr. Robert E. Gunter, President of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, said. “We believe that we have a responsibility to take a leadership role on this major health issue, and establishing our entire campus as tobacco-free firmly supports that belief.”

On average, 11 West Virginians die each day from smoking, and tobacco is the cause of more than one of every five deaths in the state and is the root cause of many illnesses and lost productivity. The US Surgeon General has confirmed that exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke is a serious health hazard and that there is no risk-free level of exposure. Tobacco use in and around public areas poses health and safety risks for students, employees and visitors.

The college will offer employees Smoking Cessation and Stress management classes to assist with the transition.

“Reducing the harmful effects of smoking has led to our decision for establishing smoke free campuses,” Gunter said.

Staff Report

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