Beginning on Aug. 1, all tobacco products will be prohibited on campus.
With August 1st steadily approaching, the students and staff of Lorain County Community College can expect to breath easier on campus this fall semester.
Currently, a policy stands to ban the use of products containing or derived from tobacco and any smoking stimulating devices on campus grounds but permits the use of nicotine patches and gum. LCCC follows the suit of at least 28 other colleges and universities in Ohio to adopt the tobacco-free policy on campus including Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland State, and Notre Dame. The tobacco-free policy also complies with the Ohio Department of Higher Education’s 2012 request urging higher education institutions to prohibit tobacco products on campus.
Spearheading the initiative is Dr. Lisa Augustine a professor and program coordinator for health, physical education, and recreation at Lorain County Community College. Augustine and LCCC hope to see the policy not only benefit the health of those on campus and the community, but help graduates find jobs in the Healthcare field. As of September 1, 2007, the Cleveland Clinic began implementing a pre-employment non-smoking hiring policy, which inhibits the employment of smokers, according to clevelandclinic.org. Other healthcare providers like University Hospital and Mercy, have taken a similar approach to hiring.
Augustine sees the ban as a preemptive strike on habits that would prevent graduates from gaining employment.
“I teach Zumba at the University Hospital’s fitness center, and ‘Do you smoke?’ was question number seven on the job application,” said Augustine. “The number one program here on campus is the allied health professions, so all of these students are going to benefit by having one less place to use tobacco.”
To uphold the policy Augustine has enlisted the help of the LCCC community to form the Tobacco-Free Campus Task Force.
“The members of the campus are taking on a shared responsibility and that’s where the ambassador program comes in,” said Augustine.
Ambassadors will work alongside campus security and use the respect model and other non-confrontational methods to remind smokers of the policy. In addition to the task force, there will be an area on campus security’s web page to report violations.
Rather than simply preventing smoking on campus, the job of the task force is also to educate smokers about the resources available on-campus. One such resource is Charlene Dellipoala, a certified tobacco specialist who works to help smokers quit tobacco by developing specialized treatment plans suited to each person’s individual needs.
Even though the policy prohibits its use on campus, vape products may have the potential to help smokers abstain from tobacco.
A recent report by the Tobacco Advisory Group of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) suggests that e-cigarettes have the potential to help smokers quit cigarettes.
E-cigarettes have the capacity to replace more of the characteristics of tobacco cigarettes than conventional nicotine replacement therapy, and therefore have potential as effective smoking substitutes, according to an RCP report.
The report also found that e-cigarettes allow a much smaller amount of toxins to be absorbed into the bloodstream compared to cigarettes, demonstrating that e-cigarettes are liable to cause less harm than their smoking counterpart.
The Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group (CTAG), an independent organization, published a review of two studies performed in New Zealand and Italy, analyzing the possibility that e-cigarettes can be used to help smokers quit. The CTAG review found that the results from both studies indicated that the use of e-cigarettes increased the odds of smokers quitting.
For more information, on the tobacco-free policy and the Tobacco-Free Task Force, call Lisa Augustine at 440-366-7352. For more information about on-campus resources to quit smoking, call Charlene Dellipoala at 440-366-4848, visit the CARE center in BU 113D.