Tobacco-free campuses coming soon

By ARMANDO HARMON

Pima Community College is slamming the brakes on the use of tobacco on its campuses by making Pima a tobacco-free college.

Pima will go back and rewrite its policy on tobacco use on campus.

The proposition won’t be brought up to the board till the March meetings.

According to Brosky, if things were to change, the policy could go into effect in the fall 2018 or in January 2019.

There isn’t an exact date on when this policy will be brought up to the board of governors, but it could show up in a meeting in March for the first reading.

In 2013, the board of governors approved a policy restricting the use of tobacco on campus. PCC provided designated areas throughout each campus, with each area having its own benches and ashtray.

The Executive Leadership Team reviewed the the recommendations from the All College Council and results from a survey about tobacco and e-cigarettes that were posted online for students, faculty and staff.

The results of the survey were surprising, considering how the majority of the people were affected by secondhand smoke and about how 74.1 percent are concerned about the health effects of secondhand smoke affecting others.

PCC recognizes that colleges and universities are key environments for implementing healthy behaviors for students and also aim to provide a safe, healthy and comfortable environment for working and learning.

It’s not all healthy, however. Some might argue that the smoking area near the Respiratory Center on West Campus forces students with health issues to walk through that area.

“The placement of this smoking area is about 25 feet from the doors,” said Jeff Miller, respiratory program director. “Unfortunately, only the signs were taken down and the ashtrays remained and as a result we found even more smokers, but I am beyond ecstatic that we are adopting a tobacco-free campus.”

The three four-year universities in Arizona are all smoking and tobacco free, and colleges in the Maricopa Community College District fall under the same policy.

“It’s tough because there are health concerns, especially with secondhand smoke,” said Lisa Brosky, vice chancellor for external relations. “The other concern is the littering of the cigarettes. You have to look at this from all angles.”

 

Compiled by NICHOLAS TRUJILLO, Aztec Press looked over the responses as to why people support a tobacco-free campus, or don’t. As shown above, 1,402 survey participants support a tobacco-free school, while 1,086 don’t want this to take place. However, the comments tell a slightly diffrent story. There were over 300 comments in support of tobacco-free campuses, yet well over 500 particapants expressed their concern with PCC becoming a tobacco-free zone. These are some of the responses from each group to give a better idea of who voted for what. No names will be released with the comments as the survey was anonymous. However, if you have an opinion and you want to share it, email us at aztecpress@pima.edu. The anonymous responses were not altered in any way.
Illustration by Nicholas Trujillo/Aztec Press, This graph is pulled from the smoking survey that was taken in the fall semester of 2017. The graphs above show the comparison between those that said yes and no to a tobacco-free campus and those that either are or aren’t worried about the health issues of second-hand smoking. The surveys also have different total numbers of students that answered the question, this is because less students answered the whole survey and just stuck to one question.

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