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PCC to go tobacco free on Sept. 9
Photos and Story by James Hill
Coming this fall, tobacco in any form will not be welcomed at Portland Community College.
Starting Wednesday, Sept. 9, all PCC campuses, training centers and locations will go tobacco free as directed by the college’s Board of Directors. The policy will create a healthier environment for thousands of Oregonians since PCC is the largest institution of higher education in Oregon, serving more than 87,000 students annually. The decision followed a lengthy survey of staff, faculty and students and was presented to the PCC Board, which weighed the responses and the college’s mission to provide a healthy and safe environment for the entire community that visits PCC.
“This was the right thing to do,” said PCC President Preston Pulliams. “The United States Surgeon General’s evidence of the health risks associated with tobacco use, including the risks that exposure to second-hand smoke has on healthy non-smokers, was too compelling to not act.”
Last school year, PCC had banned smoking everywhere except designated areas. For the 2009-10 school year, the college will provide plenty of notice regarding the new policy to students, staff, visitors, vendors and outside contractors doing work at the college. PCC staff will present info about the Oregon Quit Line to anybody who requests assistance to stop smoking or using other tobacco products. An Employee Assistance Program is available for college employees and their dependents.
The resources include:
Oregon Tobacco Quit Line: 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669)
Oregon Tobacco Quit Line, en Español: 1-877-2-NO-FUME
PCC Employee Assistance Program (for eligible employees): 1-800-433-2320
“We want to educate everyone who comes to our campuses in a way that is inclusive and provides plenty of information to help them adhere to the new policy and see that it benefits everyone,” Pulliams added.
For more information about PCC’s tobacco policy, visit the Web at www.pcc.edu/tobacco.free