Columbia College goes tobacco free

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COLUMBIA – Columbia College will ban tobacco use on its campus starting in August.

This includes traditional products like cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and chews as well as the electronic forms of tobacco use like vape pens, hookahs, and e-cigs. Tobacco paraphernalia cannot be sold on campus and the college will prohibit all tobacco-related advertisements as well.

The policy covers students, employees and visitors. Although the risks of a visitor violating the policy are lower, the act would still be reported. If a student or employee violates this policy, it could result in termination.

Tobacco Free Committee Co-Chair Terri Zeilenga said the plan is to enforce the policy on a case by case basis. 

"It will just be a reminder," she said. "If there needs to be more intervention, we'll take it from there." 

Zeilenga said when the school sent out a survey to students about the policy, the reaction was very positive.

Student Trayvon Butler said he thinks it will be a healthy policy. 

"I do think it will reduce the chances of second hand smoke," he said. 

Columbia College plans to provide resources for individuals who wish to quit smoking. The policy will go into effect on August 21.

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