EMCC now a tobacco-free campus

Published: Jan. 31, 2017 at 5:01 PM CST
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Tobacco is no longer allowed on East Mississippi Community College's campus. They implemented a tobacco-free policy at the beginning of the year to promote health and wellness.

"We certainly can't tell people what to do in their personal time but when they're on campus, we ask that they refrain from using tobacco products," says EMCC President Tom Huebner. "That's the example or model we want to set for our student population."

The policy is in place for faculty and staff as well. No cigarettes, electronic cigarettes or chewing tobacco are allowed. EMCC says being tobacco-free is just a small part of the bigger health and wellness initiative at the college.

"People all over campus, many of whom have been using tobacco products for a lot of years are saying it's a good opportunity to take advantage of those resources and to kind of refocus on wellness," says Huebner.

EMCC received a grant from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation to update exercise equipment and promote health and wellness through classes and programs.

"That grant has really opened a lot of doors for us to be able to provide opportunities to our students and our faculty and staff who otherwise might not access to that kind of information and those kinds of resources," says Huebner.

EMCC says they haven't had any issues enforcing the new policy. They've seen mostly positive reactions.