As the New Year kicks off, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin announced at her State of the State Address on February 6 that she has signed an executive order banning the use of tobacco products on state property. The order will give state agencies six months to make sure all tobacco is not used in or on any state property, including buildings, lands and vehicles. Governor Mary Fallin said, “Healthy living is important, not just because we want Oklahomans to live full and happy lives, but because the effects of unhealthy life choices hurt our economy, drain taxpayer’s dollars and drive up the cost of health care for everyone.”
Statistic have shown that Oklahoma is ranked 48th in the nation in overall health. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Terry Cline said, “About 23.7 percent of Oklahomans smoke, including about 20 percent of high school students. It’s killing a lot of people.” The harmful effects of smoking are well documented. It harms nearly every organ in the body and accounts for nearly 443,000 deaths a year in the United States. Anyone who has tried to quit smoking can attest to the fact that it is a tough habit to break. But even if it is tough, the benefits of quitting smoking start right away. Medical experts have found that a person’s health improves minutes after taking their last puff and continues in the years to come.
The Connors State College Wellness committee and the Student Government Association surveyed the campus to gain a better understanding of how our students, staff and faculty felt about going tobacco-free. The results showed that 78% of those surveyed supported a tobacco-free campus.
Connors State College plans to move forward with the steps necessary to make this a smooth transition for the Connors family. “We plan to offer classes and programs to help people with tobacco cessation. We want to support people as much as possible,” said President of Connors State College, Dr. Tim Faltyn. As of July 1, 2012, Connors State College will be a Tobacco free campus; this new ban will apply to all three campuses. Over the next four months Connors will be taking the appropriate measures to prepare the campus to meet the requirements for the new directive. Cessation classes and publications will be available by April 1. Plans to sponsor an “I love a healthy campus” health fair are underway, as well as a set of comprehensive initiatives to ensure that the ban is a way to help everyone adjust to a new way of life on campus. These are just a few ways Connors State plans to support the change coming in July.