Dr. Kristy Shuda McGuire, associate professor of Biology, transforms science into daily life lessons for students. She has been a leader of the smoke-free campus movement at Community College of Philadelphia since its beginning six years ago. As a pregnant faculty member, she said she regularly walked through clouds of second-hand smoke as she entered her building. She and others began to push for tighter
restrictions for health and career reasons.
Their efforts were successful. The Main Campus and Regional Centers went smoke-free on Jan. 1, 2017, and the College began preparing and helping smokers at events like the Great American Smokeout in fall 2016, which urged smokers to quit for one day—the first step to a healthier lifestyle.
More and more hospitals and medical businesses have begun adopting strict policies against smoking as a way to increase worker productivity, reduce health care costs and encourage healthier living. Some organizations go as far as prohibiting smokers from applying for jobs. As colleges prepare and educate students for the local workforce, this issue resonates with faculty and staff.
“The College needs to be preparing its Nursing and Allied Health students for employment at area hospitals that no longer hire smokers, including Thomas Jefferson University and the University of Pennsylvania,” Dr. Shuda McGuire said. “That’s one reason why we felt it was really important to implement this policy.”
Dr. Shuda McGuire, who also serves as the academic coordinator of the Biomedical Technician Training program, believes the consensus-building process showed students how to change the world. “It’s pretty amazing,” said Dr. McGuire “I’m really hoping that it does make a difference. The number one thing you can do to prevent cancer is not smoke.”