CMC Summit prepares to go tobacco-free this fall
April 2, 2009
Colorado Mountain College’s Summit Campus is offering free smoking cessation sessions as it prepares to go tobacco-free this fall.
“We’re taking things one step at a time,” said Dawn Zoni, campus student development counselor.
The campus, which includes locations in Dillon and Breckenridge, will be the first public college or university in Colorado to go tobacco-free.
Zoni said education on the policy and why it is being implemented is one of the first objectives as the campus prepares for the change.
For smokers who want to quit, sessions are to occur in the summer and fall as well as in the coming weeks.
“It’s a non-credit class, so it’s free,” Zoni said.
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There will be an April 8 meeting from noon to 2 p.m. at the Miner’s Creek Room in the Medical Office Building in Frisco. Zoni said Wednesday that there were still openings for anyone interested.
Public feedback on the new policy has been mostly positive.
“A few say we shouldn’t be doing it, but the majority say it’s very positive,” Zoni said.
Some of the public commented that not allowing people to smoke in their cars, or in a designated area, is excessive. Others say they’re proud to be studying at a smoke-free school.
A CMC Summit tobacco task force met this week to discuss myriad issues regarding the new policy ” such as signage and receptacles.
Zoni said there will be banners at both campus sites to make people aware of the policy. A “frequently asked questions” sheet is being prepared for distribution by the end of the month.
Though task force members had considered receptacles for cigarette butts, Zoni said these won’t be available when the policy is first implemented. She said people from other colleges have said the areas near receptacles often become smoking hang-outs.
“We’re going to start with none,” she said, adding that this could change with time.
Other CMC campuses may be taking a cue from Summit and creating policies of their own. Zoni said Leadville could perhaps become the state’s first residential public college campus to be tobacco-free.
The local cessation program offered through CMC and Summit County Public Health is to be offered during the summer and fall as well, Zoni said.
For more information or to register for the program, call CMC at (970)453-6757 or (970)468-5989.
This week, a federal excise tax increased the cost of a pack of cigarettes to $1 from 39 cents ” and to $10 from $3.90 per carton.
This has caused a influx of record levels of calls to the Denver-based National Jewish Health’s QuitLine, which has had to bring in 15 extra staff, according to a report in the Denver Post.
Robert Allen can be contacted at (970) 668-4628 or firstname.lastname@example.org.