UTTC to renew tobacco-free status

BISMARCK (UTN) – When the national day to quit smoking comes up next week, United Tribes Technical College will fortify its ban on commercial tobacco use and emphasize the college’s cultural heritage.

UTTC President Leander “Russ” McDonald will proclaim November 20 as “Honoring Tobacco Day” on campus, the same day as the American Cancer Society’s “Great American Smokeout.”

A proclamation signing is set for 9 a.m. on Wednesday, November 19 in the college cafeteria.

One year ago during the annual smoke out, United Tribes became the first tribal college in North Dakota to adopt a comprehensive Tobacco-Free Campus Policy. It prohibits the use of all tobacco-derived products sold commercially, including e-cigarettes, to counteract their lethal and addictive affects.

The policy makes one culturally significant exception. Traditional tobacco uses that have been observed in Native American settings for generations are permitted. UTTC honors spiritual, cultural and ceremonial tobacco uses as “keeping tobacco sacred.”

            Attending the proclamation signing will be students from Theodore Jamerson Elementary School on the college campus. Prizes will be awarded to youngsters in grades K to 8 who designed the best anti-smoking posters to help observe the smoke out. Light refreshments will also be served.

UTTC’s Tobacco-Free Policy was developed by the college’s Wellness Circle. The group was named the 2014 “Public Health Team of the Year” by the North Dakota Public Health Association, in recognition of the initiative.

For more information about the United Tribes Tobacco-Free Policy, visit the college’s website: http://www.uttc.edu/tfree/.