The Richmond Community College’s fall semester ended for students Wednesday, and when classes reconvene on Jan. 7 the campus will be tobacco-free.
“We’re very excited about the new policy here at the college,” said RCC Director of Enrollment Management Daphne Stancil. “This is a real step forward that will bring us more in sync with the rest of the state.”
Stancil said she believes smoking becomes a habit, which makes the cycle hard to break even when people know they shouldn’t.
“I don’t think it’s necessarily that people want to smoke, but it’s just that - it’s a habit,” she said.
She went on to explain the college has been working with FirstHealth since 2008 to provide tobacco cessation classes and aids for students or their immediate family at a one-time price of $5, and for faculty and staff based on their salary.
These efforts are funded by the North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund, and the classes end in June 2010. After that, they will continue to be offered at FirstHealth Richmond Memorial.
“These classes are set up to not only help people with cigarettes, but with other forms of tobacco as well, like chewing tobacco and snuff,” Stancil continued. “It’s not just cigarettes we’re doing away with on campus, but all forms of tobacco. I think the biggest thing is just to get people in these (classes).”
In addition to the cessation program, people who attend classes or work on campus are encouraged to utilize the Quit Now national phone line at 1-800 QUIT NOW.
According to the line’s Web site, the quitline is staffed by counselors who are trained specifically to help smokers quit smoking. They deliver information, advice, support and referrals to tobacco users throughout the country.
While the campus will remain tobacco-free, there is one option still available to smokers among the student body and those who work at the college.
“We are tobacco-free, but faculty, staff and students who choose to continue smoking will still be able to, only in their personal vehicles,” Stancil said.
Staff Writer Philip D. Brown can be reached at (910) 997-3111 ext. 32, or by e-mail at email@example.com.