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Alaska Job Corps Goes Tobacco-Free; Joins Regional Fresh Air Campus Challenge


Palmer, ALASKA—The Alaska Job Corps Center campus is now tobacco-free. The policy went into effect July 1, 2013. The Alaska Job Corps Center is the second campus in Alaska to join the Fresh Air Campus Challenge after Iḷisaġvik College in Barrow made the commitment last month. The regional challenge is a first-of-its-kind effort to encourage all college campuses in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington to adopt a 100 percent smokefree or tobacco-free policy by 2016.

By joining the challenge, Job Corps is committing to conduct at least two activities by the end of 2013 that assist them in implementing their tobacco-free campus policy.

“We are proud to join the Fresh Air Campus Challenge,” said Job Corps Center Director, Malyn Smith. “Our goal is to provide the healthiest possible learning and working environment for our students, staff and visitors, and limiting the harmful effects of tobacco use and secondhand smoke is one of the best ways to do that.”

The challenge brings together local, state and federal tobacco control programs in a unique partnership with college campuses to begin the process of policy adoption.

Initiation of smoking is at its highest during the college years—99 percent of all regular smokers start by the time they are 26 years old. Smokefree and tobacco-free policies are shown to effectively reduce tobacco use by helping prevent initiation and making it easier for people who smoke to quit.

“Center Director, Malyn Smith, has shown incredible leadership by going tobacco-free,” said Dr. Patrick O’Carroll, Regional Health Administrator for U.S. Health and Human Services, Region X and Assistant U.S. Surgeon General. “Colleges have a unique opportunity and responsibility to provide a safe community and a foundation for healthful living. These policies are one of the best ways to ensure college campuses deliver on that promise.”

According to the U.S. Surgeon General, there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, and tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death in the nation. Secondhand smoke is responsible for an estimated 49,400 lung cancer and heart disease deaths among nonsmoking adults in the U.S. each year.

The Fresh Air Campus Challenge is supported by a broad coalition of local, state and national tobacco prevention and control partners, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Region X; American College Health Association; American Lung Association; American Cancer Society; American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation; American Heart Association; and the state tobacco prevention and control programs of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. For more information on the Fresh Air Campus Challenge, visit http://www.nwcphp.org/communications/news/fresh-air-campus

Job Corps is a no-cost education and career technical training program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor that helps young men and women ages 16 through 24 improve the quality of their lives through career technical and academic training. The Job Corps program is authorized by Title I-C of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. For more information about the Job Corps program at a national level, please visit www.jobcorps.gov.

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