Tobacco Free USC Facts
- More deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by all deaths from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined.
- On average, adults who smoke die 13 to 14 years earlier than nonsmokers.
- More than 60 known carcinogens are present in secondhand smoke.
- The Surgeon General of the United States has concluded that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke, and establishing smoke-free environments is the only proven way to prevent exposure.
The state of South Carolina
- 22% of adults smoke cigarettes
- 13% of pregnant women smoke
- 20.9% of youth smoke cigarettes
- 18% of youth smoke
- 10.7% of youth use smokeless tobacco
- 6,300 South Carolinian children become new smokers each year.
- 6,100 South Carolinians die each year from tobacco use.
- 790 South Carolinians die each year from exposure to secondhand smoke.
- 13.8% of USC students report smoking cigarettes in the last 30 days.
- 4.4% of USC students report having smoked a hookah (water pipe) within the past 30 days.
- 4.57% of USC students report using smokeless tobacco within the past 30 days.
- Nearly one in 10 college students will die prematurely from tobacco use, and many of these deaths will be from cancer
- 15% of Students surveyed through USCs National College Health Assessment say they began smoking in college.
- Smoking is more prevalent among college-age individuals (18 to 24) than any other age group.
- Smokers are absent 50% more than nonsmokers.
- Costs of employee absences include temporary replacements, and lowered productivity and morale among employees who remain at work.
- Each pack of cigarettes sold in the U.S. costs an estimated $7.18 in medical care costs and lost productivity.
- The CDC puts a $3,383 price tag per year on each employee who smokes: $1,760 in lost productivity and $1,623 in excess medical expenditures.
- Employees who take four 10-minute breaks per day to smoke actually work one month less per year than workers who don’t take smoking breaks.
- USC’s tobacco-free policy reflects the University’s commitment to Healthy Carolina, which seeks to improve the health and well-being of USC students, faculty and staff.
- The policy takes into account the impact on tobacco-users, and encourages them to seek free tobacco-cessation assistance from Campus Wellness, The State Health Plan’s Free & Clear program or a variety of other sources.
- The policy follows the recommendation of the U.S. Surgeon General, who reports that “Smoke-free environments are the only approach that protects nonsmokers from the dangers of secondhand smoke.”
- The policy is consistent with the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) criteria, which all new USC buildings must meet or exceed.
*Statistics are from National College Health Assessment for USC and Centers for Disease Control.