In a concerted effort to establish a tobacco-free campus, Western Nevada College is holding a One-Day Stand Against Tobacco on Thursday, Nov. 17 on all three of its campuses.
“It’s literally a one-day stand to get people to quit for one day,” said Rebecca Bevans, WNC’s chair for a Healthy Campus Committee and program coordinator for the tobacco implementation policy. “We’re really trying to come from the point of view of making the campus a healthy environment for everyone.”
To encourage students, faculty and staff to cease their habits, they will be presented gift cards to Starbucks or Yogurt Beach if they turn in their tobacco products.
Carson City Health and Human Services will set up information tables in WNC’s Bristlecone and Dini buildings and provide tobacco users with people to talk to and additional information about their habits.
The Carson City and Fallon campuses will conduct the education campaign from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., while the program runs from 5 to 7 p.m. on the Douglas campus.
Participants are also encouraged to take a survey and will be entered into a prize drawing, as long as they provide their email addresses. Prizes include certificates for lunch at the Wildcat Den.
For the current school year, WNC established a policy to promote a healthier learning and working environment by confining the use of nicotine and vapor products to designated outdoor areas on its three campuses. The eventual plan is for WNC to join the more than 1,400 colleges and universities in the U.S. that have adopted a tobacco-free campus policy.
Besides the obvious health concerns of directly inhaling cigarette smoke into your lungs or exposing others to second-hand smoke, students can save a lot of money by not purchasing tobacco products. A pack of cigarettes now costs more than $6 in Nevada and more than $5,000 per year, tobacco chewers spend $3 per can and more than $1,000 per year for their habit, and although e-cigarettes cost less than half of tobacco cigarettes, users can fork out several thousand dollars in a year.
Bevans said it’s important for students to eliminate their dependency on tobacco products now, not only to improve their quality of health but to create more opportunities for themselves.
“If they transfer to UNR, they won’t be able to use tobacco products there,” she said. “More and more corporations don’t allow smoking or vaping on their campuses. We’re here to educate our community and get them ready for the workforce as they move to smoke-free, vaping-free environments.”
Truth Initiative, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to inspiring tobacco-free lives, has provided WNC with a one-year grant of $10,000 to help the college with its tobacco-free campus education campaign.
To learn more about WNC’s efforts to become a healthy campus and the resources and assistance available to tobacco and vaping product users, go to www.wnc.edu/healthy-campus/.