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Chicago City Colleges adopts tobacco-free campus policy

Thu 12th January, 2012

USA – Chicago's seven City Colleges have voted to ban the use of all tobacco, including smokeless tobacco, on college property.

The policy starts on 1 March and will include a smoking cessation programme called 'Courage to Quit'. More than 120,000 students and 5,800 faculty and staff will be affected by the ban, which includes smokeless tobacco products.

The move is part of the Chicago Tobacco Prevention Project to curb smoking. City Colleges of Chicago representatives say college students smoke more than the general population, and tobacco-free policies make it easier for people who want to quit to be successful.

“This is an important step towards ensuring that our students have healthy and safe environments to live, learn, play and succeed,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Promoting healthy environments is crucial to securing a high-quality of life for Chicagoans in every neighborhood, supporting a vibrant economy, and keeping our city on the cutting edge.”

“As we reinvent our institution to ensure students are prepared to compete for the jobs of the future, we must also provide a learning environment that protects their future health and well-being. The tobacco-free policy helps create a college environment that promotes a healthy lifestyle among our faculty, staff and students, and benefits the entire City Colleges community,” said Chancellor Hyman.

“This policy is critical in saving lives, and is an important step in implementing the City’s public health agenda, Healthy Chicago,” said Dr. Bechara Choucair, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health. “College students use tobacco at a higher rate than the average of adults across the nation and we applaud City Colleges of Chicago for its bold move to help reduce tobacco use and decrease exposure to secondhand smoke.” 

"From a student’s perspective, a tobacco-free campus helps both smokers and non-smokers, as it helps to create a comfortable environment for the non-smoker who should not have to endure the harmful effects of second-hand smoke,” said Olurotimi Akindele, president of the Harold Washington College Student Government Association. 

“Likewise, a tobacco-free campus paired with support services encourages smokers who are trying to quit. I am happy that City Colleges of Chicago is focused on ensuring our students are supported in their academic pursuits as well as the other non-academic aspects of their lives that are often critical to their success in college and beyond."  

Sources: City of Chicago (12 January 2012), Huffington PostNBC Chicago (13 January 2012)

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