Tobacco-free is a growing trend among colleges and universities across the nation and in South Carolina. CCU leaders chose to proactively make the move to provide ample time to implement the change, rather than being forced to react quickly if it becomes a mandate.
In keeping with the University’s mission to “develop students who are… prepared to be productive, responsible, healthy citizens with a global perspective,” CCU leaders decided that becoming a tobacco-free campus would be highly beneficial. By choosing to transition now, CCU can take the most humane approach, communicating the change to the campus community while putting in place support programs to assist those who wish to quit smoking before and during program implementation.
In December 2013, Coastal Carolina University’s Board of Trustees approved the Tobacco-Free Policy, which prohibits the use of all forms of tobacco and smoke-related products. This policy goes into effect on August 1, 2014.
Did You Know?
Students who do not smoke, as a whole, have higher GPAs than students who smoke.
The top feeder states for students coming to CCU all have comprehensive smoke-free communities.
Currently, 29 states in the U.S. allow companies to not hire job candidates simply because they smoke. This means students who smoke and return home to work with a degree from CCU may not be prepared to manage the transition.
According to the American Nonsmokers Rights Foundation, there are at least 1,127 campuses that are 100 percent smoke-free in the U.S and of these, 758 are 100 percent tobacco-free. In South Carolina, 23 universities have approved going tobacco free.
At CCU, surveys indicate that strong majorities, nearly 70 percent, of both faculty and students support going tobacco-free.
Both the students who attend the university and the faculty and staff who work at the university experience positive benefits of a 100 percent tobacco-free campus.
Smoking has a negative economic impact on businesses and organizations, including universities. Absenteeism is higher, individual health insurance premiums are higher, and hazard insurance is between $11-21 higher for each worker who smokes. Overall, healthcare costs directly caused by smoking and secondhand smoke are staggering.
Smoking also impacts the environment. Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world and one of the most littered items here at CCU. In addition to the animals that ingest the trash, the personnel required to maintain a beautiful campus is tremendous.