WVNCC Goes Smoke Free Thursday - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

WVNCC Goes Smoke Free Thursday

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Thursday, all three campuses of West Virginia Northern Community College went tobacco free.

The move coincides with The American Cancer Society's Great American Smoke Out. West Virginia Northern with now join more than 250 other U.S. Colleges and universities that are tobacco free.

"We're saying to the world, we want to model good healthy habits," Dr. Martin Olshinsky, President of WVNCC told 7News. "In order to do that, we have to stop the use of tobacco."

Lisa Wysong, an asthma sufferer and medical assisting student at WVNCC, thinks the ban was a good idea. "A lot of times if you walk outside, the smoke just sort of slams you in the face and can trigger the asthma problems, breathing problems, or coughing."

The initiative was introduced to students back in August, so they've had some time to get used to the idea.

For now, administrators will be handing out soft warnings, to anyone caught using tobacco products on campus.

"The way most of these projects work is that after six months, it becomes acceptable practice and it's just a state of being, and that's really what we're aiming for," Dr. Olshinsky said.

Associate professor of Respiratory care, Lisa Ingram, believes the ban will help many students and staff quit smoking.

"Short of missing classes to go off campus to smoke, they really are going to have to find some way to manage the cravings while they're here," Ingram said.

For those who want to kick the habit, the college is offering help to students and staff. Information about several programs was featured at Thursday's luncheon.

For the past year, the Wellness Council of West Virginia has been working with WVNCC to develop a good policy.