PCC celebrates going tobacco free 10 years ago on Sept. 9, activities planned

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On Sept. 9, Portland Community College celebrates a full decade of being tobacco free. To celebrate, students and staff should watch for special welcome tables during the first week of classes (Sept. 23-27) at their campuses. There will be cake, information and free giveaways to celebrate the anniversary.

Way back in 2009, PCC was the largest institution of higher education in the state to go tobacco free.

Tobacco-free campaigners picking up butts.

In 2009, PCC led the “No Butts About It” Campaign where volunteers picked up cigarette butts around the campuses.

Back then, the Board of Directors announced that PCC would become tobacco-free starting Sept. 9, 2009. The decision followed a lengthy survey of staff, faculty and students. The Board weighed the responses and the college’s mission in order to provide a healthy and safe environment for the entire college community.

The policy affected all campuses, training centers and locations, both indoors and out. Good Neighbor Zones were created so that staff, faculty and students could smoke in areas away from the buildings and neighborhood homes. A lot of communication centered on the change at the time, including the video above featuring the PCC Panther “Poppie.”

But educating the PCC community about the dangers of smoking has never stopped. The college’s Employee Assistance Program is available for employees and their dependents to help them quit.

Vice President of Academic Affairs Katy Ho was part of the 2009 “No Butts About It” Campaign where volunteers picked up cigarette butts and other garbage around the campuses and centers in lead up to the policy implementation.

“At the core of this journey ten years ago were our students, asking for us to strengthen how we uphold our mission to provide a safe and healthy environment for all students, faculty, and staff,” Ho said. “Our work to become a tobacco-free college took everyone coming together to support, educate, create policy, procedures and awareness, all in service to the health of our greater community. This is what continues to make PCC a leader in our community and why putting students at the center of our work is so important.”

Picking up cigarette butts.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, is the Public Relations Manager at Portland Community College. A graduate of Portland State University, James has worked as a section editor for the Newberg Graphic, Wo... more »

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Comments

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x by Jacob Spindel 2 months ago

This is a good policy, but it would be a lot better if it were enforced more consistently.

Whenever I ask people to stop smoking, they often do not take me seriously. I feel like it isn’t worth bothering Public Safety, and they probably wouldn’t get there in time anyway.

Would it be possible for you to offer some sort of training course where any staff member could volunteer to get certified to write smoking tickets?

x by Linda Browning 2 months ago

I too see people smoking or vaping around campus, as well as an increasing number of cigarette butts on the ground, in stairwells, etc. Can we have signage posted around the campus reminding students (and those who are not aware) that smoking is not allowed?

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