Western Nevada College has joined more than 1,700 colleges and universities across the country in kicking the habit.
When students arrive for the fall semester on Monday, Aug. 28, WNC’s three campuses will be tobacco-free. WNC actually became tobacco free in advance of the semester, banning tobacco products starting Aug. 14.
Students, faculty, staff and visitors will not be permitted to use tobacco and vapor products in buildings or outdoor areas on the Carson City, Fallon and Douglas campuses.
The terms “tobacco” and “smoke free” include all tobacco products. “Smoking” means inhaling, exhaling, burning or carrying any liquid or heated cigar, cigarette, pipe or any other lighted or heated tobacco or plant product intended for inhalation, including hookahs and marijuana, whether natural or synthetic, in any manner or in any form. “Smoking” also includes the use of an electronic smoking device that creates an aerosol or vapor, in any manner or in any form.
“The support and commitment from our students, faculty and staff allow us to continue our efforts for a healthy campus,” said Rebecca Bevans of the Healthy Campus Committee, which has ushered the tobacco-free initiative to completion.
WNC began its tobacco-free conversion in 2014 by changing its tobacco policy to permit designated smoking areas on campus.
In 2015, WNC formed a Healthy Campus Committee to further change the campus policy and work toward becoming tobacco free. HCC conducted surveys in that same year and found that 87 percent of students and 75 percent of faculty and staff members were supportive of a tobacco-free campus.
Last year, HCC promoted a healthier learning and working environment, and use of nicotine and vapor products were confined to designated outdoor areas on WNC’s three campuses.
Truth Initiative, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to inspiring tobacco-free lives, provided WNC with $10,000 grant to help the college with its tobacco-free campus education campaign.
The college’s tobacco-free campus policy is in accordance with the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act, which states that smoking tobacco in any form is prohibited within indoor places of employment, including government buildings and public places. The buildings on WNC’s campuses are considered government buildings.
With the goal of providing a healthier learning environment for students, WNC has extended its tobacco-free policy throughout its campuses. Designated tobacco-use areas were removed from the three campuses earlier this month.
“We appreciate all the support, feedback and assistance during this process,” Bevans said. “We look forward to our breathe-easy, tobacco-free WNC.”