A dedicated group of FRC students and staff host a successful public awareness event on the effects of tobacco and smoking Nov. 16 when the college partnered with the Plumas County Public Health Agency. The event coincided with the American Cancer Society’s annual Great American Smokeout and is the first such project in a multi-year effort to transition FRC to a smoke- and tobacco-free campus by the 2020-21 school year. Photo submitted

FRC moves toward tobacco-free campus

The Feather River College Board of Trustees voted 5-0 to move toward making the community college campus in Quincy a smoke-and tobacco-free environment by the 2020-21 academic year.

Understanding that adjustments of this nature will take time, the trustees’ action taken Oct. 19 acknowledges that tobacco is a highly addictive habit that makes it challenging to change people’s personal behaviors — especially in a short-term timeframe.

According to college administrators, the future date allows time to transition and provide support and resources to tobacco users who will be affected by the change.

“Currently, the use of tobacco products are only allowed in designated smoking areas on campus and are prohibited in all buildings on campus, all college facilities and all college-owned vehicles,” said Carlie McCarthy, chief student services officer at FRC. “It is the intent of the college to provide a healthy environment and encourage healthy lifestyle choices.”

McCarthy will coordinate the effort with external resources to offer tobacco-cessation programs and resources.

On Nov. 16, the college also partnered with James Wilson and Melodie Bennett of the Plumas County Health Department to offer a tobacco-cessation event on campus that coincided with “The Great American Smokeout,” an annual event promoted by the American Cancer Society as a date to make a plan to quit. The event was open to students and staff alike.

“We had exhibits in the student lounge that showed the side effects of tobacco use, an interactive true/false display, employee-benefit information, support resources, ‘quit kits’ and more,” McCarthy said.

According to FRC, the effort is supported by a January 2014 move at the University of California, which implemented a systemwide smoke- and tobacco-free policy, joining more than 1,500 other colleges and universities nationwide.

For more information, visit cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/great-american-smokeout.html .