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Community Colleges Are Important Partners in Reducing Tobacco Use

Break Free Alliance is pleased to report that it has convened two meetings with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) to discuss the problem of tobacco use among community college students and how community colleges can benefit from and become a part of the “Tobacco-Free College Campus” initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Approximately 1,132 public, independent and tribal colleges are a part of the AACC’s system. Forty-five percent of students are between the ages of 22-39. Single parents make up 13% of the student population, non-US citizens 6%, veterans 3% and students with disabilities 12%. Forty-two percent of students report that they are the first generation to attend college.

Tobacco use is higher among the populations referenced above and community colleges can be strong partners on local and statewide tobacco coalitions and workgroups. Reach out and invite them to the table!

We’d like to highlight two community colleges in West Virginia who are taking on the issue of tobacco use on campus: West Virginia University at Parkersburg and West Virginia Northern Community College. By enacting tobacco non-use policies and providing cessation services and referrals for students, these colleges recognize the role they play in improving the health of their students, faculty and community. For more information about the tobacco prevention and cessation programs of these community colleges, please contact Break Free Alliance.

Additionally, the AACC is forging ahead with revising and re-issuing their Position Statement on Tobacco Use. Congratulations to the AACC for recognizing tobacco use as an important issue to address. We look forward to continued partnership and collaboration!