As the leading preventable cause of disease, disability and death in America, smoking has become public enemy number one in recent years. One by one, higher education institutions across the state of Florida have begun to adopt tobacco-free policies, including University of Florida, which has been tobacco-free since July 2010 and Valencia College, which passed a smoke-free policy this past July. Rollins is working to determine the right decision for this institution.
“We are currently analyzing the issue and want the community’s input in the process. This move to be a smoke-free college is a national trend with over 100 colleges already taking those steps,” said Maria Martinez, assistant vice president of human resources and co-chair of the alcohol and tobacco committee. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 3,000 nonsmoking Americans die of lung cancer as a result of exposure to second-hand smoke each year. “With these statistics it makes it hard for any college not to consider going smoke-free,” said Martinez.
The committee will invite the Rollins community to participate in a short survey, which will be sent to all students, faculty and staff, asking them their opinion about policies that the college could be implementing. The committee will review the data collected and provide a report with recommendations to the administration of their findings.
“We commend Rollins for taking this important step toward pursuing a healthier environment for all students, faculty and staff,” said Lisa Portelli, Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF) program director and member of Healthy Winter Park (HWP). HWP, made up of leaders from the public and private sector throughout the community and facilitated by WPHF, has designated tobacco-free outdoor public places as one of its four Action Plan Priorities and is committed to assisting Rollins in its efforts.
Surveys will be sent out in October and results will be analyzed shortly thereafter.
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