Frequently Asked Questions
The University of South Carolina has prohibited the use of tobacco in and within 25 feet of university-owned and-leased property since 2006. Why consider expanding the policy?
The university is deeply committed to the well-being of our students, faculty, staff and visitors and to providing a healthy environment in which they can flourish. When USC announced the first tobacco-free policy in 2006, university officials and student leaders declared their expectations to expand the policy campus-wide, prohibiting tobacco use on all campus property, including the grounds.
By considering this expansion of the policy, USC is demonstrating our devotion to the health and well-being of our students, employees and visitors and recognizing our commitment to public health, sustainability and our Healthy Carolina initiative. An expanded policy also would be consistent with the university’s partnerships with the Healthy South Carolina and Working Well initiatives.
What other colleges and universities are tobacco-free?
As of Oct. 5, 2012, there are at least 608 colleges and universities that are or have chosen to become tobacco-free, including the University of Arkansas, Clemson University, the University of Florida, Indiana University and the University of Kentucky. The American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation maintains a complete list of colleges and universities with tobacco-free policies.
Why consider including smokeless tobacco in the expanded policy?
Prohibiting the use of smokeless tobacco reduces the unintended consequence of smokers turning to smokeless-tobacco use on campus. Smokeless tobacco has been proven harmful and addictive, and it has not shown to help smokers stop smoking. The university understands that for tobacco-users, the transition to a tobacco-free campus would be difficult. That’s why the task force will give special attention to communicating proposed policy revisions and to educating the community about tobacco-cessation resources available to them.
What resources are available to help people manage or quit tobacco use?
Palmetto Health, in conjunction with the University of South Carolina Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, offers a free, comprehensive, smoking-cessation program called Free Yourself from Smoking. The three-week, six-session program includes motivational counseling; medical consultation; and a free, one-month supply of Zyban (Wellbutrin). Last year, more than 400 people participated in the program, and 89 percent are now non-smokers. For more information or to register for the next available class, call 803-296-2273.
Other resources, including those that rely on phone, text message and online support, are available to students, faculty and staff. Many of these programs are free, and others are supported by health insurance providers.
How would a tobacco-free policy be enforced?
We anticipate that the entire Carolina community would share responsibility for enforcing the policy. However, this is among the many details of a policy that must be reviewed and addressed.
Community input is vital. Comments, questions and suggestions are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.