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Mesa Community College Becomes First Smoke-Free Campus

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Aired 4/19/09

Mesa College has become the first community college in San Diego County to go completely smoke-free. The policy change was prompted by a student who suffers from asthma. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.

Mesa college's journey to become smoke-free began in 2005. School president Rita Cepeda says a freshman with severe asthma spoke up at a public meeting.

Cepeda: She addressed our board of trustees at one of the meetings on campus, and spoke about the tremendous damage to herself personally, and to others on campus because of second-hand smoke."

Cepeda says that led to the formation of a committee to look into the issue. Ultimately, the school decided to ban smoking all together. Mesa College is the fourth community college in the state to go smoke-free. Point Loma Nazarene is the only other local campus with such a policy. Nationwide, college students have a higher smoking rate than any other age group.  

Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.

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