Alcorn takes a stand against tobacco

Alcorn State University recently joined other colleges and universities in their initiative to stand tall against tobacco use on campus.

Alcorn joined the “1 Day Stand” campus campaign Thursday, Nov. 19. Supported by the Tobacco-Free College Campus Initiative Challenge, the campaign seeks to raise awareness of the harmful effects of tobacco use and secondhand smoke and help tobacco users quit. Alcorn has always had a policy in place that prohibits the use of tobacco products on any property that is owned, leased or controlled by the University. This includes all on-campus and off campus facilities such as offices, classrooms, residential housing, hallways, dinning facilities, restrooms and athletic facilities.

“College is a time when young people are at a higher risk for starting smoking and transitioning from experimental to regular tobacco use,” said Dorothy Jackson Davis, director of Health and Disability Services at Alcorn. “We want to encourage life-long healthy habits and ensure a safe and healthy environment for everyone on campus. That’s why we are taking this stand and supporting those looking to quit.”

Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States and secondhand smoke is responsible for an estimated 49, 400 heart and lung cancer deaths each year nationwide.

“Smoke-free policies are an effective way to reduce tobacco use by prevention initiation and making it easier for smokers to quit,” said Davis. “Policies have also shown to decrease smoking rates and positive attitudes toward tobacco use.”

To date, 10 Mississippi colleges and universities and approximately 1, 577 campuses nationwide have a smoke- or tobacco-free policy in place. This is in sharp contrast to 420 campuses in 2010.

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