KCUR News
11:55 am
Mon August 1, 2011

Local Colleges Go Smoke-Free

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Thousands of students in Kansas City will have less options to light up when they get back to school this semester. New tobacco policies take effect this week at two local community colleges.

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Starting today, Metropolitan Community College, or MCC, is going completely tobacco free. The school's banning the use of cigarettes and other products, like chewing tobacco, on all five campuses. The one exception, you can still smoke inside your car.

Carolyn Baskett is with MCC and says the idea for this new policy took shape after the college's Health Science Institute opened a couple years ago. Baskett says the institute has been tobacco-free from the start, to encourage healthy lifestyles among students going into the health care field

"Then we started the conversation, if we're doing it for the health and welfare and creating a clean environment for those students, why not look at it for all of our campuses," says Baskett.

Baskett says the policy is not intended to infringe on student's personal choices. Instead, the point is to promote a clean campus and help students acclimate to a smoke-free environment that's becoming more and more common in the workplace.

Johnson County Community College is also going smoke-free this week. But unlike MCC, Johnson County will still allow smoking in designated areas.

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