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BCC to Become a Smoke-Free Campus Aug. 1
Mar 14, 2013
Berkshire Community College's (BCC) Board of Trustees has unanimously approved an initiative designed to make the campus smoke-free starting Aug. 1, 2013.  The initiative aims to limit exposure to secondhand smoke for the campus community - creating a healthy learning and working environment for everyone.

The policy, which includes the burning of tobacco or any other material in any type of smoking equipment, encompasses all property owned and operated by BCC. 

"The dangers of secondhand smoke are well documented," said BCC President Ellen Kennedy. "Any steps that can be taken to better the health and well-being of our students and employees are positive steps. We look forward to working together as a community to raise awareness about the health benefits to everyone of having a smoke-free campus."

BCC's decision to go smoke-free follows a trend occurring on college campuses nationwide. Nearly half of the institutions in the Commonwealth have already enacted similar policies - with many others following suit.

According to Vice President for Human Resources Deborah Cote, "This initiative has been in the works for more than a year - and - for the most part it has been well received. Making BCC smoke-free adds to the numerous health and wellness opportunities we are already offering on campus such as free exercise classes, student-run blood pressure clinics and healthy food offerings in our cafeteria."

The college will offer assistance to those who wish to quit smoking through a smoking cessation program in collaboration with Berkshire Health Systems.

Students involved with BCC's Respiratory Care Program will complete a Smoking Cessation Facilitator course over the summer of 2013 to learn how to best assist their smoking peers in "kicking" the habit. In addition, the students also will set up an information table once a week in the cafeteria with anti-tobacco education and smoking cessation information.

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