By: Aundrea Paredes, Contributing Writer
Volunteer State Community College became a “No Smoking” campus on Jan. 1, 2016. The new policy includes all Vol State campuses.
All use of tobacco products, including smokeless products, has been restricted on campus grounds and in the parking lots. This includes: vaping, chewing tobacco, water pipes, etc.
According to the Vol State Web site, “The tobacco-vape-free policy is a part of Vol State’s commitment to creating a healthy and sustainable environment for all members of our campus community and is designed to be positive and health directed.”
The Vol State Web site also includes that any visitors to the college are subjected to abide by the Tobacco-Limited policy:
“Organizers and attendees at public events, such as conferences, meetings, public lectures, social events, cultural events, and sporting events using Vol State facilities are required to abide by the Tobacco-Limited Campus policy.”
The decisions concerning the new policy were made after a previous survey conducted by the Student Government Association, SGA, and the President’s Cabinet at Vol State.
“I agree with the collective decision to make Vol State a smoke free campus; it will better the quality of life and make Vol State a healthier college,” said Jesse Versage, president of the SGA.
The new policy encourages students to stop using tobacco products, but does not force them to quit. Help is available to those who want to stop using tobacco products. Students and visitors are also encouraged to speak up if a student, faculty, staff or visitor is caught violating the new policy.
“I personally am happy that we are making this step toward a healthier campus community,” said Tami Wallace, Director of Public Relations and Marketing.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Cigarette smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, causes many diseases and reduces the health of smokers in general. Quitting smoking lowers your risk for smoking-related diseases and can add years to your life.”
“College campuses all across the country are making this move,” said Eric Melcher, Communications Coordinator for Public Relations.
To emphasize, there are no designated smoking areas. The entire campus is tobacco, vape, water pipe, and any other substance free. Students and faculty are required to follow this policy as well as visitors.
There are off campus sources that aid any student or faculty that want to stop the use of tobacco. These services can be found on the Vol State Web site.