Rose blooms from the ashes


By: Logan Pierce,editor-in-chief

Smoke Free Campus

Banner displaying that Rose State College will be a tobacco free campus as of August 1st, 2011. photo by, Logan Pierce

During the 2010 fall semester it was announced that RSC would be tobacco free as of August 1st, 2011. Chris Leland, director of the health and wellness center, emphasized

that the campus will be tobacco free; not merely smoke free. “Any tobacco or simulated tobacco product is not allowed,” Leland said.

Signs posted around campus raise awareness of the new policy. The tobacco ban is all-encompassing. No ashtrays will remain on campus. Individuals in the parking lots found using tobacco products in their cars will be subject to fines. “If you smoke anywhere on campus property, you’re violating the policy,” Leland said.

Within the last five years, electronic cigarettes have risen to prominence as an alternative for those who want tobacco where smoking is not allowed. These

“e-cigarettes” use liquid cartridges containing various levels of nicotine and release water vapor into the air instead of smoke. Studies on the effects of second-hand water vapor are ongoing. Leland said that artificial tobacco devices go against school policy. “No electronic cigarettes.” Leland said, “They’re like Splenda cigarettes.”

By becoming a tobacco free school, Rose State College qualifies for government grants, Leland said.  The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (OTSET) receives funds from the government to help reduce the effects of tobacco on society. The money is funneled to different local organizations; one of which is the Oklahoma County Tobacco Use Prevention Coalition (OCTUPC). They allocate these funds to compliant public entities wishing to support smoking cessation programs.

“Tobacco use is detrimental to your health and the health of others.” Leland said, “It’s an addiction; an addiction to chemicals. We’re not telling you that you can’t smoke, but you can’t do it here; and if you’d like to quit, we’re here to help.”

To aid smokers who want to “kick the habit,” the Health and Wellness Center is offering a tobacco cessation resource guide that includes activities to help conquer cravings and information about a “stop smoking” iPhone app.

Leland said that the cessation resource guide is only one of many options available. “No one thing works for everybody.” Leland said, “You have to keep trying. For most, it takes multiple times to quit smoking. If something doesn’t work, try a different approach.”

Working in conjuncture with the American Lung Association, the Health and Wellness Center will provide classes for students on smoking cessation. “This isn’t a one-time workshop.” Leland said, “This is a year-long class that’s free for current students.“ Leland said that to succeed in this class you need to be able to say, “I want to do everything within my power to become tobacco free.”

Regarding public opinion for the new policy, Leland said that most feedback has been positive. “I’d like students to think ‘I’m going to college to better my life, so maybe quitting smoking is part of that’.”

Comments

  1. What are students saying about the new tobacco free policy?
    We asked a handfull of students and this is what they said….

    Rose State student Justin Fulks, physical therapy major said, “I like it. It’s nice to walk from building to building with out walking through a cloud of smoke.”

    Rose State student Mikenzie Kilmer, Pediatric Nurse major “I love the no tobacco policy. I feel like it keeps rose clean and worry free. I would not like going to school and getting out of my car smelling smoke. Rose also wouldn’t have to worry about accidental fires starting anywhere on campus.”

    Chelsea Akers, Dental hygiene major says, “I think it a good thing to start at this school. I would say I’m pro-tobacco free; I grew up with it in my family so I’ve always had a tendency to worry about the people who use it.”

    what ate your thoughts on the new smoke free policy?

    Melissa Strout, online editor
    Quotes gathered by Narges Taghavi

  2. Deborah Eckroat says:

    Hey Melissa,
    I like the no smoke policy, but I don’t agree with not being able to smoke in your car. I guess I understand it, but in my opinion a person’s vehicle is their private property, and what someone does on their own property is none of my business, as long as it doesn’t affect me. If the windows are kept up so the smoke doesn’t go all over the parking lots – who cares? Being a recovered smoker (22 years nicotine free) I am also a strong advocate for people kicking the habit. The campus should add a line to all their smoke free posters – STOP SMOKING FOR FREE AT THE HEALTH AND WELLNESS CENTER. Lets help get people into recovery!

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