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STLCC to Become Tobacco-Free Beginning Jan. 2

December 22, 2010

Beginning Jan. 2, 2011, use of tobacco products on all St. Louis Community College property and in all college vehicles will be prohibited.

“This action reinforces our commitment to providing a healthy and safe educational setting and workplace not only for the students and employees of St. Louis Community College, but also for all those who visit our campuses and facilities,” Chancellor Zelema Harris said.

The Indoor Clean Air Code Ordinance approved by voters in St. Louis County and a similar measure approved by the St. Louis City Board of Aldermen that bans smoking in many public spaces, including educational facilities, also take effect on Jan. 2.

STLCC joins a growing list of more than 225 colleges and universities nationwide that have enacted 100 percent tobacco-free policies. The college’s Wildwood campus and its new William J. Harrison Education Center, opened in 2007 and 2010, respectively, already have been designated as tobacco-free as a condition of certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System®.

Smoking has been prohibited inside buildings on the Florissant Valley, Forest Park and Meramec campuses, as well as other college-owned facilities, for several years. Under the new policy, there will be no designated smoking areas within property boundaries. “Property boundaries” is defined as inside the geographical perimeter of any STLCC jurisdiction, including vehicles parked within the perimeter of any land owned by STLCC.

Tobacco products affected by this policy include, but are not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, pipes and smokeless tobacco. Tobacco-free statement signage will be posted at all entrances to college facilities and other prominent places.

According to information on the website for the American Cancer Society, tobacco use accounts for at least 30 percent of all cancer-related deaths and 87 percent of lung cancer deaths in the United States. Between 2000 and 2004, smoking caused more than $193 billion in annual health-related costs in the US, including smoking-attributable medical costs, and productivity losses.

As more information becomes available, including programs to assist those interested in smoking cessation, updates will be posted on the college website, www.stlcc.edu/tobacco-free.