Edmonds CC goes tobacco, smoke-free
Last updated 9/15/2017 at Noon
Edmonds Community College became a tobacco and smoke-free campus as of Sept. 11.
Joining a growing number of colleges in Washington state that are prohibiting smoking and the use of tobacco products, EdCC’s new policy and procedure are intended to promote a healthy educational and work environment for students, faculty, staff, and visitors.
“Our new policy demonstrates our commitment to supporting a healthy, caring, and sustainable campus and community by promoting the holistic health and wellness of all members of the Edmonds CC community,” said Edmonds CC President Dr. Jean Hernandez.
After much consideration, the EdCC Board of Trustees approved the college’s Tobacco and Smoke-Free Campus policy and procedure this summer.
The college began considering taking action on its tobacco use policy several years ago. The proposal picked up momentum last fall. The final decision came only after the college administration conducted a second tobacco use survey the first was done in 2011 held three open forums, and formed an advisory committee.
The survey had 757 complete responses and received more than 1,000 comments. A majority of those who do not currently use tobacco (64 percent) said the college should be smoke-free, while 90 percent of current users were against a tobacco and smoke-free policy.
In October, the board also heard from Snohomish Health District’s executive director Dr. Gary Goldbaum, M.D., who said the college has an obligation to assure that its friends, family, students, and employees have an opportunity to live a healthy life.
“Tobacco targets the most vulnerable, lower income, and less educated population,” Goldbaum said. “By normalizing the behavior, it facilitates the initiation of smoking to our most vulnerable population.”
According to the state Department of Health, tobacco is associated with six out of 10 leading causes of death in Washington, including cancer, heart disease, chronic lower respiratory disease, diabetes, among others.
“As a college, we are committed to ensuring each of our students, employees, and community members have the opportunity to learn, work, and thrive on campus and in the broader community,” said Carl Zapora, EdCC trustee and former CEO of Snohomish County’s Public Hospital District No. 2.
“We’re fulfilling our commitment to provide a healthy environment where that’s possible by becoming a tobacco- and smoke-free campus.”