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Tobacco-Free FAQs

Updated on March 7, 2014

Why is Coastal Carolina University becoming a Tobacco Free Campus?
In an effort to promote a safe, clean and healthy environment for students, employees, volunteers, affiliates, contractors, vendors, visitors and guests, Coastal Carolina University will become a tobacco-free campus.  This policy will ensure the existence of a tobacco-free environment so that negative effects of tobacco usage are minimized on our campus and in our community.

When does this new policy go into effect?
This policy is effective August 1, 2014.  It will be in force 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

How will the campus community and visitors know about the campus becoming tobacco-free?
Reasonable and on-going efforts will be made to notify the campus community, including visitors to campus, of the University’s tobacco-free status.  Appropriate signage will be installed in conspicuous places to alert everyone on campus that it is tobacco-free.

What tobacco products are covered under this new policy?
All forms of tobacco and smoke-related products, including but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, snuff, water pipes (hookahs), bidis, kreteks, smokeless tobacco, electronic cigarettes and other devices allowing for the ingestion, combustion, inhalation or other use of tobacco will be prohibited from use on campus.

Where is the use of tobacco products prohibited?
The use of all tobacco products is prohibited in the following areas:

  • On and in all property that is owned, operated, occupied, controlled or leased by the University or University-related organization, including but not limited to building, structures and grounds. 
  • In outdoor seating areas
  • In all University owned, leased, rented or controlled vehicles
  • In personal vehicles
  • In all offices, classrooms, laboratories and restrooms
  • In hallways, stairwells, elevators, porches and on rooftops
  • In lobbies and waiting areas
  • In dining areas
  • At indoor and outdoor athletic facilities
  • In or around residence halls
  • On shuttle buses and at shuttle bus stops
  • In parking areas on University owned or leased property
  • On sidewalks on University owned or leased property
  • On outdoor benches, green spaces on campus and other common areas

Can I have tobacco products on campus?   
The University is not restricting or prohibiting the lawful possession of tobacco products on campus.

Can I use tobacco products in my personal vehicle?
No. Use of tobacco products is not permitted in personal vehicles parked or being driven on University owned or leased property.

Can I use e-cigarettes on campus?  Why not?   
No.  The FDA considers e-cigarettes a tobacco product, not a way to quit smoking. “Vaping” emits fine particles into the air, polluting it, and creates the look and odor of smoking, which causes confusion in complying with and enforcing the tobacco-free policy.

Why is smokeless tobacco prohibited by this policy?
Smokeless tobacco use is prohibited on campus because it, too, has been proven to be harmful and addictive. In addition, the University does not want to promote the use of smokeless tobacco products as an alternative to smoking.

Can I leave to campus to smoke during a rest period (break)?
Employees may take a rest period of up to 15 minutes for every four hours of work.  The break may be taken at a time and place and in a manner which does not interfere with the efficiency of the department or other employees.  Although employees have the opportunity to take rest periods at places of their choosing, based on the size of the campus, in most cases, it will not be logistically possible to leave campus to smoke during a rest period.  Non-compliance with the University’s policy on rest periods will be monitored and addressed by employees’ supervisors. 

Can I extend my rest periods by reducing my scheduled lunch break in order to smoke off campus?   
No.  Rest periods are authorized in the interest of the employees' health and efficiency and may not exceed 15 minutes

Will the University advertise, sell or allow sampling of tobacco products on campus?
No.  The sale, sampling or advertisement of tobacco products will be prohibited on campus and in all University publications. 

What will happen if someone violates this policy?
It will be the responsibility of each department head to enforce this policy for compliance within each area under his/her supervision.  If anyone is seen using tobacco or smoke-related products on University property, any individual on campus, including Coastal Carolina employees, students, volunteers, affiliates, contractors, vendors, visitors or guests, may remind the user about this policy and request that s/he comply by discarding the tobacco product.  If the user does not comply, this violation of the policy may result in corrective action, including the following:

  • Employees of the University who refuse to comply may be disciplined for violation of this policy, consistent with the provisions of University Policy, HREO – 147, Disciplinary Action and Termination for Cause.
  • Students of the University who refuse to comply will be referred to the appropriate area within the division of Student Affairs. 
  • Visitors or members of the general public who refuse to comply may be asked by the Department of Public Safety to leave campus.

Are there any exceptions to this tobacco-free policy?
The President or designee may permit limited and appropriate individual exceptions to this policy as listed below:

  • In support of the requirements of sponsored research related to tobacco, as part of the controlled research requirements.
  • By actors or artists who participate in University authorized performances that require smoking or the use of tobacco products as part of the artistic production.  Under those circumstances, only the use of a simulated smoking device will be allowed.
  • For educational, clinical or religious ceremonies. 
  • On properties the University owns but leases or otherwise conveys an interest (e.g., an easement) to a non-University party, according to the provisions of the applicable lease or agreement. 

All requests must be in writing and will be approved or disapproved by the President or designee, also in writing.  If approval is received, the requestor must notify Coastal Carolina University’s Fire Safety Department prior to usage.

Are employees, students and others covered under this policy required to quit using tobacco products?
No.  Coastal Carolina University is not asking anyone to quit.  This policy simply means that no one can use tobacco products on Coastal Carolina University property or grounds. 

Are there any resources available if I want to quit using tobacco products?
Listings of Employee Resources and Student Resources can be found at coastal.edu/livewell/tobaccofree.

What can I do to support this tobacco-free campus policy?
It is up to everyone to help raise awareness and make this policy successful.  

Are other colleges and universities tobacco-free?
As of January 1, 2014, there are at least 811 colleges and universities nationwide that are or have chosen to become tobacco-free.  In South Carolina, several public institutions of higher learning have already adopted tobacco-free policies, including but not limited to: the University of South Carolina, University of Charleston, Medical University of South Carolina and Lander University.  The American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation maintains a complete list of colleges and universities with tobacco-free policies at no-smoke.org/pdf/smokefreecollegesuniversities.pdf

Will more information be made available about the campus becoming tobacco free?
In the coming months, additional information about the new policy and resources will be provided.

Who should I contact if I need additional information about this new policy?






 Email Address



Policy Information


 Kim Sherfesee

 Director of Human Resources 


 Ext. 2036


    iQuit Program    

(for Employees)


 Derek Johnson

 Indoor Air Quality Technician


 Ext. 5094

 Smoking Cessation Resources

(for Employees)

 Lori Cox


Benefits Manager



Ext. 6496


Enforcement/Public Safety



David Roper




 Ext. 2177


 Student Support


 Caesar Ross

 Director of Student Health Services


Ext. 6543


Public Information


Martha Hunn

Director of News and Public Affairs


 Ext. 2962


 Tobacco-Free Links‌

Quick Links


Healthy Campus 2020