In just over two weeks, Carolina University will join more than 1,100 campuses nationwide that have adopted tobacco-free policies.
New regulations involving tobacco use are expected to go into effect on August 1. Coastal Carolina University’s Board of Trustees approved the initiative in December 2013.
Coastal Carolina’s new tobacco-free policy covers a wide range of products, including cigarettes, chewing tobacco, smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarettes. The school began offering smoking cessation support to students and faculty in January.
A survey revealed approximately 70 percent of students and faculty approved of tobacco-free policies. One of those students is Krystal Smalls.
“Not everyone likes to be around smoke and secondhand smoke can be just as dangerous, too,” she said.
University leaders say they had the best interests of students and faculty in mind when developing the policy.
“As it is stated in our mission statement, CCU is committed to developing students who are both knowledgeable in their chosen fields and prepared to be productive, responsible, healthy citizens with a global perspective,” Stacie Bowie, vice president and chief financial officer, said in a staff newsletter. “Creating a healthy environment for students, faculty and staff is already one of CCU’s top priorities.”
Students found violating the new policy after August 1 will be reported to the Office of Student Conduct. Faculty and staff will face disciplinary action.
“In the long run, it would damage your lungs and give you cancer,” Smalls said. “It’s pretty much like a cancer stick.”
Coastal Carolina officials say the school is printing signs and literature for students and faculty to help them better understand the new tobacco-free policy.