OTC to host tobacco-free workshop

OTC to host tobacco-free workshop

Friday, May 21, 2010

Contact

College Director of Communications
417.447.2655 publicinfo@otc.edu
Steve Koehler
Coordinator of Publications (417) 447-2666 koehlers@otc.edu

By Steve Koehler

Leaders in higher education and health will gather at Ozarks Technical Community College next week for the seventh annual Tobacco-Free Campus Workshop May 26-27.

Approximately 20 institutions from around the country will gather for the event, sponsored by OTC’s Center for Excellence for Tobacco-Free Campus Policy.

“Tobacco-free policies continue to be an important issue on college campuses and other institutions. The annual workshop is one of several ways the Center of Excellence for Tobacco-Free Campus Policy helps those interested in making their outdoor spaces tobacco-free,” said Ty Patterson, director of the OTC center for excellence.

During the two-day workshop, attendees will hear from a number of experts in health and education and discuss ways to help make colleges, universities and other institutions tobacco-free.

Sara Plaspohl with the Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah, Ga., will present the results of her doctoral dissertation’s assessment of the impact tobacco-free policies have had on the country’s colleges and universities.

A total of 162 of the 175 colleges and universities with tobacco-free policies responded to Plaspohl’s survey. The results show that “tobacco-free schools fall short of total compliance with current American College Health Association guidelines.”

Still, Patterson said, the interest among institutions looking to institute tobacco-free policies grows, as does the popularity of the workshop.

“It has been gratifying to see the growth of the tobacco-free workshop these past six years. From the evaluations of the participants, we know we are helping institutions across the country learn how to develop, implement and sustain tobacco-free campus policies,” Patterson said.

Patterson will head a discussion with hospital leaders discussing efforts to implement and enforce tobacco-free policies on their campuses.

Representatives from Cox Health Systems, St. John’s Medical Center and Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah, Ga., will be involved in the roundtable talk.

For more about the center and the conference, go to

http://www.otc.edu/tobaccofree/centerofexcellence