Come fall, Broward College students and employees will have to leave campus to get their nicotine fix.
That’s because the college, which has three campuses and serves about 60,000 students, is the latest South Florida higher education institution to ban smoking and tobacco products anywhere on campus. That includes athletic fields, sidewalks and parking garages.
“We want people to know that Broward College cares about their health,” said Brenda Bordogna, program manager for employee wellness at the college.
In 2011, Florida International University became the first South Florida university to impose a college-wide ban and the second in the state, behind the University of Florida.
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At that time, the college was one in about 400 colleges and universities nationwide to ban tobacco. Today, there are about 1,500 institutions banning smoking, according to the American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation.
Among the South Florida institutions to ban tobacco products, including E-cigarettes: Miami Dade College, Nova Southeatern University and the University of Miami.
“We have been smoke-free for years now,” said Juan Mendieta, spokesman for MDC. “It is the right thing to do because it creates a healthier campus for us all.”
Broward College will begin warning students and faculty of the change withing the next few weeks. There will be onsite tobacco cessation programs through a partnership with Nova Southeastern University’s Area Health Education Centers program.
Bordogna said everyone deserves a “clean and healthy” learning environment.
“It is in the best interest of everybody,” she said.