Tobacco-Free Committee

Woman Breaking Cigarette

Note: this is an ad hoc committee that meets irregularly. Please contact the committee chair for more information.


Hallie Madole


  • Huong Ngo, Co-Chair, Washoe County Health District
  • Nicole Shimabuku, Student Activities and Leadership
  • Julie Blesoe, Assessment and Planning
  • James Kuzzhippala, Biology and Community Health Science
  • Kathryn Warner, Facilities Services and Operations
  • Rick Floyd, Student Life and Development
  • Jordan Thomas, Washoe County Health District

TMCC Tobacco-Free Committee Events

Event Date/Time
Kick Butts Day March 13, 2019
Great American Smoke Out November 21, 2019

Meeting Minutes



The TMCC Breathe Easy Tobacco-Free Initiative sprung from a desire to create a healthier learning environment for students, faculty and staff.

Breathe Easy Logo

In late 2015, a TMCC Wellness Initiative spurred various wellness offerings and activities, including a Tobacco Awareness workshop offered by the Washoe County Health District. Students and faculty participated in a survey about smoking, with an overwhelming result of respondents preferring a smoke-free environment. Armed with the results in Spring 2016, TMCC applied for and was awarded the Truth Initiative, Community College Grant for Tobacco Free Environment.

Through the work of the Tobacco-Free Committee, we have successfully passed the following Tobacco-Free Resolution through Faculty Senate, Classified Council, Planning Council and SGA in efforts to support the goal of promoting healthier student, staff and faculty on campus.

Resolution to Support a Tobacco and Smoke-Free Campus

TMCC is committed to promoting a healthy campus community by supporting a smoke-free and tobacco-free environment to protect the health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

In compliance with the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act (NRS 202.2483), all students, staff, faculty, and visitors are asked to refrain from using tobacco in any form including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, hookah, e-cigarettes, and smokeless tobacco products at any of TMCC’s sites outside of the designated smoking areas.

TMCC acknowledges the established risks associated with tobacco use, smoking, and secondhand smoke exposure. It is our goal to promote a healthy environment and to encourage health and wellness for our entire constituency.

The resolution was presented and approved by TMCC President, Dr. Karin Hilgersom on 2/8/2019; Classified Council on 11/15/2018; Faculty Senate on 12/7/2018; and TMCC SGA on 11/14/2018.

Grant for Tobacco-Free Environment

The grant supports activities dedicated to spreading awareness of tobacco’s effects and to provide smoking cessation resources. The primary goal of the initiative is to promote and support advocacy for and create policy for the adoption of smoke- and tobacco-free policies across all sites of TMCC.

This initiative will ensure compliance regarding the use of tobacco with the Nevada Revised Statutes, as well as the TMCC Policy Manual.

In support of the grant initiative, TMCC President Karin Hilgersom wrote, in part:

In Nevada over 4,000 deaths are attributed to tobacco use annually, this is the number one cause of avoidable death in the United States. Over $1 billion is spent in Nevada alone on annual health care costs directly related to tobacco use. By establishing a tobacco-free, smoke-free environment we will reduce risks not only for tobacco users but also reduce exposure to carcinogens and asthma triggers for nontobacco users.

With adoption of a tobacco free policy, TMCC will join over 1,500 campuses across the United States that have already become tobacco and smoke free.

TMCC Designated Smoking Areas

Designated smoking areas have been established to help smokers transition toward a tobacco-free College. Smoking and non-smoking zones outside have been changed, and are marked with signs.

TMCC Site Designated Smoking Area(s)
Dandini Campus
  • By the wind turbines to the southeast of the Sierra Building.
  • At the picnic table near landscaped shrubbery, southwest of the Red Mountain Building.
Meadowood Center
  • Designated smoking is located near the mailboxes facing Neil Street, on the west side of the two buildings.
William N. Pennington Applied Technology Center
  • Tobacco use area is near the bus stop, but not going past the boundary of TMCC grounds.
William N. Pennington Health Science Center
  • Location allowed for smoking is to the south, opposite from the main entrance and 100 feet from the doorway.

Facts about Tobacco Usage (from

  • Average smokers lose more than 10 years of life because they smoke, but 90% of that loss is regained when smokers quit by age 40.
  • Tobacco use and secondhand smoke cause illnesses such as lung cancer, coronary heart disease, stroke, and respiratory problems.
  • One of every three cancer deaths is caused by smoking.
  • Each day, more than 3,200 people under 18 smoke their first cigarette, and approximately 2,100 youth and young adults become daily smokers.
  • Nearly 9 out of 10 lung cancers are caused by smoking.
  • Nearly 8 out of 10 Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) deaths are a result of smoking. Currently, there is no cure for COPD.
  • Women smokers are up to 40 times more likely to develop COPD than women who have never smoked.

Myths About E-Cigarettes

  • Myth: E-cigarettes produce water vapor so they are safe.
  • Fact: E-cigarettes heat a mixture of propylene glycol, nicotine, and flavoring. What is exhaled is an assortment of toxins, metals, and ultrafine particles also found in tobacco cigarettes.
  • Myth: E-cigarettes can be used to quit smoking
  • Fact: The FDA has not approved e-cigarettes as a quit device. There are other proven safe and effective methods for quitting.
  • Myth: E-cigarettes have no unidentified effects on human health.
  • Fact: A team of atmospheric scientists at the Desert Research Institute reports that the aerosols (commonly called vapors) produced by flavored e-cigarettes liquids contain dangerous levels of hazardous chemicals known to cause cancer in humans. Read more of the scientific report.

Smoke Free Area sign


  • Quitline: 1-800-QUIT-NOW
  • Quit Kits: The Tobacco Free Committee provides free smoking cessation kits to students, faculty and staff.
  • ComPsych: TMCC faculty and staff can access ComPsych free through TMCC's Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
  • Smoking Cessation App:
    Quitting smoking can be incredibly difficult, but it is ultimately worth the struggle. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cigarettes contain over 7,000 chemicals, and about 70 of those can cause cancer. Smoking also causes heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), respiratory problems, fertility issues, and more. However, quitting at any stage has proven health benefits. In the United States, about 7 out of 10 smokers report that they want to quit, and many are succeeding. According to the CDC, the number of former smokers has been larger than the number of current smokers since 2002. Fortunately, nicotine gum and going cold turkey are no longer the only options, because we now have many technological tools that can help. Check out our picks for the best quit smoking apps of the year.

See Also:  Butt Out: A Tobacco Cessation Video Presentation