By Steve Koehler
In 2003, when many higher education institutions and medical centers were talking about the issue of tobacco on their grounds, Ozarks Technical Community College was doing something about it by becoming the first U.S. college to ban all tobacco from its campuses and centers.
The College founded the Center of Excellence for Tobacco-Free Campus Policy in 2004 and it has offered workshops, webinars and consulting services that more than 150 institutions have used to make their campuses tobacco-free.
The College’s sixth annual “Making Your Campus Tobacco-Free” Workshop will be held at OTC June 19 with more than 25 groups from across the country attending, including the University of Kansas, the University of New England and Washington University in St. Louis.
Presenters will include representatives from the University of Arkansas, the Onondaga County Health Department in Syracuse N.Y., and Ivy Tech Community College in Lafayette, Ind.
“The potential damage of exposure to carcinogens in second-hand smoke and the lack of respect for the impact of their behavior by tobacco users and others factors have resulted in a national trend to remove tobacco use from the campus environment,” said Ty Patterson, director and founder of the OTC center.
Patterson and Dr. Jim Blaine will offer sessions on how to overcome resistance to tobacco-free policies and the role of advisory committees in getting tobacco-free policies put in place.
“The tobacco-free policy puts Ozarks Technical Community College at the forefront of student, employee and visitor health advocacy. As a pioneer in the tobacco-free movement, the College is leading through example and making our environment healthier and cleaner for all,” said OTC President Dr. Hal L. Higdon.
To learn more about the work of the Center of Excellence for Tobacco-Free Policy and the upcoming workshop, go to www.otc.edu/about/tobaccofree.php.
Steve Koehler is coordinator of publications at Ozarks Technical Community College.
College Director of Communications
Coordinator of Publications
Phone: (417) 447-2666