Iḷisaġvik College Joins the Regional Fresh Air Campus Challenge
Campus aims to implement a smoke- or tobacco-free policy in the coming year
BARROW, ALASKA—Iḷisaġvik College announced today that it has signed on to join the Fresh Air Campus Challenge. 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 smoke- or tobacco-free policy by 2016. By signing on to the Challenge as a “Silver Campus”, Iḷisaġvik is committing to conduct at least two activities by the end of 2013 that move them closer to a campus policy.
“We are proud to join the Fresh Air Campus Challenge,” said Iḷisaġvik College President Pearl Brower. “Iḷisaġvik College has been a strong supporter of the North Slope Borough’s Healthy Communities Initiative since its inception. Education contributes to a healthy person, healthy community, and a healthy region. 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 and secondhand smoke is one of the best ways to do that. We are excited to be a part of this effort across the state, across the nation!”
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 policies are shown to effectively reduce tobacco use by helping prevent initiation and making it easier for people who smoke to quit.
“President Brower has shown incredible leadership by choosing to go smoke- or tobacco-free,” said Dr. Patrick O’Carroll, Regional Health Administrator for HHS Region X and Assistant 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 Surgeon General, there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, and tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death in our nation. Secondhand smoke is responsible for an estimated 49,400 lung cancer and heart disease deaths among non-smoking 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; American Cancer Society; 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/
Iḷisaġvik College was founded to primarily serve the residents of the North Slope Borough, America’s largest and most northern municipality. The intent of its founders was to provide an education based on the Iñupiaq cultural heritage. The basis for all Iḷisaġvik’s educational programs is the rich foundation of a subsistence culture in harmony with the land and sea. To learn more about Ilisagvik College go to: http://www.ilisagvik.edu/
For more information contact:
Amanda Sialofi, Northwest AHEC Director/Allied Health Coordinator
Dana Diehl, Health Equity Coordinator
Tobacco Prevention & Control Program
State of Alaska DHSS/DPH/SCDPHP