Clearfield Job Corps becomes smoke-free campus in new year

Jan 6 2013 - 11:25pm

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CLEARFIELD -- When students arrive at the Clearfield Job Corps center today, they will find the campus tobacco-free.

The Department of Labor pushed for Job Corps centers across the nation to go tobacco-free a year ago, said Todd Markham, deputy director for the Clearfield facility.

No tobacco products, including cigarettes, chewing tobacco, e-cigarettes and similar products, will be allowed on the campus during the academic day, Markham said. Job Corps students are between ages 16 and 24 and come from across the country.

The center has worked with Davis County Health Department for 12 years to reduce or eliminate tobacco use among students and staff, said Gloria Sawyer, a health educator with the county.

When the county started offering tobacco cessation courses, the campus had a 60 percent tobacco use rate, Markham said. Now the rate is below 30 percent.

The state rate of tobacco use among the same age group is 5.2 percent, and for the county it is 4.4 percent, Sawyer said.

Since July 1, 2011, the center's staff has not been allowed to use tobacco products on campus, Markham said.

Students will be allowed to use tobacco in the morning and evening in just one designated area, Markham said.

"It will be difficult to get to also," he said.

Markham said the center has had posters up announcing the change for several months. It will continue to offer free tobacco cessation courses to the students, as well as other free services.

The campus has a student population of 1,120. About 100 students stayed at the campus during Christmas break, and not one has complained of the new policy, Markham said.

"Today many employers have strict policies and regulations regarding tobacco use during work time," said Lewis Garrett, director of the Davis County Health Department. "In order for students to be prepared for the workforce, they must also become accustomed to tobacco-use policies they will encounter while working outside of Job Corps."

Markham said students who were of age were allowed to use tobacco products only in designated areas around the campus, not in the buildings.

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