The School Will Ban Smoking, Vaping as Part of Its Long-Term Public Health Initiative
(Garden City, NY) – Nassau Community College (NCC) has been awarded a $20,000 grant for its commitment to advocating for, adopting and implementing a 100 percent smoke- and tobacco-free policy, including limiting the use of e-cigarettes.
The support from CVS Health Foundation, in partnership with the American Cancer Society’s Tobacco-Free Generation Campus Initiative, is part of a $1.4 million grant pool to more than 80 colleges and universities across the country. NCC is the only recipient on Long Island.
“Smoking poses the greatest risk for our youth. Getting rid of tobacco usage and e-cigarettes on campus at Nassau Community College will improve the short-term health of students and faculty, as they will not be exposed to secondhand smoke,” Senator Kevin Thomas said. “A tobacco-free campus reduces the chances that our young people will face the long-term consequences of nicotine dependency.”
The college is using the money for anti-smoking signage and an ambassador program in which students will disseminate information on policy and cessations. NCC will also have giveaways and competitions to promote the healthier options.
“We are ever vigilant at Nassau Community College to protect the health of our students, faculty and staff. We also recognize that smoking represents one of the greatest preventable risks to health in our society,” said Dr. W. Hubert Keen, President of Nassau Community College. “We are pleased to join with Senator Thomas, the CVS Health Foundation and the American Cancer Society to assure that NCC becomes a tobacco-free campus.”
“A critical goal in building healthier communities across the country is reducing tobacco-use, which remains one of the leading causes of preventable death in this country,” said Eileen Howard Boone, President of the CVS Health Foundation. “By helping more colleges like Nassau Community College explore and execute on tobacco-free policies, we’re able to positively influence the number of new college-age smokers and get one step closer to our goal of seeing the first tobacco-free generation.”
“Cigarettes cause more than 480,000 U.S. deaths annually and are responsible for nearly 29 percent of all cancer deaths in the U.S.,” said Gary Reedy, CEO of the American Cancer Society. “College is a time when young adults are susceptible to developing or perpetuating an addiction to nicotine and tobacco. These grants enable institutions of higher education like Nassau Community College to help eliminate tobacco use on their campus and potentially reduce the number of people affected by tobacco-related death and diseases.”
Vaping is soaring among 18- to 24-year-olds. Last year, 2.8 million people in that age range used e-cigarettes, according to the Truth Initiative, a disturbing trend since they are four times more likely to start smoking cigarettes.
In 2012, SUNY began a long-term effort to move toward offering tobacco-free environments.
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