Peers Against Tobacco, a student-led initiative at the college, is pushing to make EPCC tobacco and smoke free within six months.
Silicone model showing the devastating effects that prolonged smoking can have on teeth and gums.
In addition, the college received $20,000 to implement this initiative, during the Great American Smoke Out on Nov. 17.
The college received the $20,000 grant as part of the American Cancer Society and the CVS Health Foundation’s Tobacco-Free Generation Campus Initiative (TFGCI).
EPCC is one of the first 20 colleges and universities to receive a TFGCI grant.
“We are proud to be recipients of the CVS Foundation grant and look forward to all EPCC facilities becoming smoke and tobacco free and thus making our college healthier for all,” said Robin Kitchen, EPCC Campus Life Representative.
The grant will be used to educate students, staff and faculty about the risks of smoking and provide support for those who want to quit, as well as pushing for a 100 percent smoke and tobacco free college.
Raul Hernandez, co-organizer of the event, that happened at the Valle Verde cafeteria annex, said that the event’s purpose was to promote a healthy environment for the students.
However, the most important reason for the event was “to educate students about smoking.”
Raul Hernandez said that students have a right to be in a safe environment.
Although people have a right to smoke, he looks forward to making the college tobacco and smoke free.
According to the city’s department of public health, there are short and long term effects about smoking.
Within a couple of days or weeks, smokers will develop bad breath and yellow teeth, as well as cigarette smell in their clothes and hair.
Some of the long term effects include: mouth cancer, lung cancer, shortness of breath, heart disease and emphysema.
“Before the age of 27, your brain is still developing, thus it is harder to quit and the addiction develops faster,” said Rosy Medina and Sarai Gutierrez from the Department of Public Health, who continued to state the decline of the sense of smell and taste after smoking.
Robin Kitchen commented on the future of the initiative; she believes that “There may be a small number of students who still smoke after the policy passes.”
She continued on to say that the “policy and the rules are being written,” and by the end of this semester or beginning of the next one changes will be made to the college’s policies.