Hazard Community and Technical College is joining the growing list of the nation’s colleges and universities in making its campuses tobacco free, beginning July 1. All of the five campus locations will implement the change – the Hazard Campus, Technical Campus, Lees College Campus, Leslie County Center, and Knott County Branch.
“Our emphasis is on the health of our students, employees, and visitors,” noted HCTC President Dr. Steve Greiner. “We are promoting healthy lifestyle choices and we have resources available for those wishing to quit.”
As the 2012 Surgeon General’s Report Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults illustrates, many lifestyle choices that lead to future health risk, including tobacco use, peak between 21 and 25 years of age. The number of smokers who started after age 18 has recently increased from 600,000 (2002) to 1 million (2010). This means that, ultimately, up to 1 million current college students could die prematurely from tobacco use.
Those using tobacco can check out many resources for user-friendly information about tobacco prevention and cessation. Everyone who is interested in quitting should seek help from a tobacco cessation program such as smokefree.gov, 1-800-QUIT-NOW or through their health insurance plans. As a result of the Affordable Care Act, most private health insurance plans will now cover the cost of cessation interventions for tobacco users.