Maricopa Community Colleges Announce Plan to go Smoke and Tobacco-Free

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The Maricopa County Community College District, one of the largest community college systems in the country, today announced that all of its properties will be smoke- and tobacco-free, effective July 1, 2012.

As an educational institution, we have an obligation to lead the way in matters of health awareness and education.

The Maricopa County Community College District, one of the largest community college systems in the country, today announced that all of its properties will be smoke- and tobacco-free, effective July 1, 2012. The program is part of a new Districtwide initiative called Maricopa Breathe Easy that is designed to promote health among the students, faculty members and staff of the Maricopa Community Colleges.

“As an educational institution, we have an obligation to lead the way in matters of health awareness and education,” said Chancellor Rufus Glasper, who made the decision to ban tobacco products. “When this policy goes into effect, our district and its 10 colleges will join hundreds of other colleges and universities across the country in what is a growing trend."

Dr. Glasper said the District is announcing the policy change well in advance of its implementation to give students and employees who use tobacco products plenty of time to decide how to adjust to this change. We will provide assistance in a variety of ways, including smoking cessation programs, to help students, faculty members and staff adjust.

Full details about the initiative will be announced November 17, the date of the Great American Smokeout, a day devoted to programs across the nation that are designed to help Americans quit smoking.

The Maricopa County Community College District is one of the largest community college districts in the nation. It includes 10 colleges – Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Estrella Mountain Community College, GateWay Community College, Glendale Community College, Mesa Community College, Paradise Valley Community College, Phoenix College, Rio Salado College, Scottsdale Community College and South Mountain Community College. The District also includes the Maricopa Skill Center, Southwest Skill Center, several satellite campuses and business/industry; technical and customized training institutes.

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Tom Gariepy
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