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NW-SCC to be smoke-free when classes resume

Northwest-Shoals Community College (NW-SCC) will institute a Clean Air Policy on both campuses and become smoke-free as classes begin for the fall semester on Aug. 19.

“The college is committed to providing its employees and students with a safe and healthy environment,” NW-SCC President Dr. Humphrey Lee said.

“Obviously, this is a significant step for the college and one that was thoroughly discussed.

“We are constantly looking at ways we can provide our students and employees with an optimal environment for learning, teaching and working. We feel like this is another way we can demonstrate the level of commitment we have toward their health.”

NW-SCC will join a growing number of approximately 1,182 colleges and universities across the country that has adopted smoke-free policies.

The NW-SCC Clean Air Policy will prohibit the use of tobacco smoking products, including the carrying of any lighted smoking instrument, in college buildings or upon other college premises or inside college-owned, rented or leased vehicles. The policy does not extend to personal vehicles.

The policy defines a tobacco product as any lighted cigarette (including electronic cigarettes), cigar, pipe, bidi, clove cigarette and any other smoking product.

Nancy Cooper, the Safe and Drug-Free Schools counselor for the Russellville City School System, said this was a positive step and one that sets a good example for teens and young adults who will be attending the college.

“I am thrilled to know that NWSCC is encouraging students, faculty and staff to be smoke free,” Cooper said.

“This policy also protects others from secondhand smoke and sends a strong ‘no tobacco’ message.”

According to the American Cancer Society, tobacco causes 30 percent of all cancer deaths, but not each person affected by tobacco was an actual user.

ACS statistics show that each year, more than 800 adult non-smokers in Alabama die from exposure to secondhand smoke.

Of all smokers, one in three will die prematurely from tobacco use, and among all smokers, the prevalence by age is highest among college-age people ages 18-24, which shows the significance of the college’s decision to adopt the Clean Air Policy.

In light of the smoke-free decision, the college also announced they will provide information on local resources, community programs and services for those who are interested in ways to stop smoking.

Resources are also available through the Alabama Department of Public Health in the form of free smoking cessation patches and other resources.