Benedict College Tobacco-Free Policy

Because Benedict College is committed to providing a safe and healthy working and learning environment for the students, faculty, and staff on its campus, it hereby adopts the following tobacco-free policy.

Section 1. Findings and Intent.

According to the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, more than 1,300 colleges and universities in the United States have adopted smoke or tobacco-free policies and this number is rising steadily. The American College Health Association “encourages colleges and universities to be diligent in their efforts to achieve a 100% indoor and outdoor campus-wide tobacco-free environment.” The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has created the Tobacco-Free College Campus Initiative (TFCCI) to promote and support the adoption and implementation of tobacco- free policies at universities, colleges, and other institutions of higher learning across the United States.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has determined that the risk of acute myocardial infarction and coronary heart disease associated with exposure to tobacco smoke is non-linear at low doses, increasing rapidly with relatively small doses such as those received from secondhand smoke or actively smoking one or two cigarettes a day, and has warned that all patients at increased risk of coronary heart disease or with known coronary artery disease should avoid all indoor environments that permit smoking. (Pechacek, Terry F.; Babb, Stephen, “Commentary: How acute and reversible are the cardiovascular risks of secondhand smoke?” British Medical Journal 328: 980-983, April 24, 2004.)

Accordingly, Benedict College finds and declares that the purposes of this policy are (1) to protect the public health and welfare by prohibiting smoking and the use of tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, on the Benedict College campus; (2) to guarantee the right of nonsmokers to breathe smokefree air, while recognizing that the need to breathe smokefree air shall have priority over the desire to smoke; and (3) to encourage a healthier, more productive living/learning environment for all members of our campus community.

Section 2. Definitions.

  1. “Electronic Smoking Device” means any product containing or delivering nicotine or any other substance intended for human consumption that can be used by a person to simulate smoking through inhalation of vapor or aerosol from the product. The term includes any such device, whether manufactured, distributed, marketed, or sold as an e-cigarette, e-cigar, e-pipe, e-hookah, or vape pen, or under any other product name or descriptor.
  2. “Hookah” means a water pipe and any associated products and devices which are used to produce fumes, smoke, and/or vapor from the burning of material including, but not limited to tobacco, shisha, or other plant matter.
  3. “Smoking” means inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying any lighted or heated cigar, cigarette, or pipe, or any other lighted or heated tobacco or plant product intended for inhalation, including hookahs and marijuana, whether natural or synthetic, in any manner or in any form. “Smoking” also includes the use of an electronic smoking device which creates an aerosol or vapor, in any manner or in any form, or the use of any oral smoking device for the purpose of circumventing the prohibition of smoking in this Article.
  4. “Tobacco Product” means Tobacco, dipping tobacco, bidis, blunts, clove cigarettes, or any other preparation of tobacco; and any product or formulation of matter containing biologically active amounts of nicotine that is manufactured, sold, offered for sale, or otherwise distributed with the expectation that the product or matter will be introduced into the human body by inhalation; but does not include any cessation product specifically approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in treating nicotine or tobacco dependence.

Section 3. Smoking and Tobacco Use Prohibited on the Benedict College Campus.

In light of the above findings, the Benedict College campus shall be entirely tobacco-free.

The Tobacco-Free Policy applies to all Benedict College facilities, property, and vehicles, owned or leased, regardless of location on the main and extended campus.

Smoking and the use of tobacco products shall not be permitted in any enclosed place, including, but not limited to all offices, classrooms, hallways, waiting rooms, restrooms, meeting rooms, community areas, performance venues and private residential space within Benedict College housing. Smoking and the use of tobacco products shall also be prohibited outdoors on all Benedict College campus property, including, but not limited to, parking lots, paths, fields, sports/recreational areas, and stadiums to include the Leroy T. Walker Health and Wellness Complex. This policy applies to all students, faculty, staff, and other persons on campus, regardless of the purpose for their visit.

Section 4. Promotion and Sale of Tobacco Products Prohibited on the Benedict College Campus.

In further recognition of the incompatibility of Benedict College’s educational mission and the promotion of tobacco products:

No tobacco-related advertising or sponsorship shall be permitted on Benedict College property, at Benedict College sponsored events, or in publications produced by Benedict College, with the exception of advertising in a newspaper or magazine that is not produced by Benedict College and which is lawfully sold, bought, or distributed on Benedict College property. For the purposes of this policy, "tobacco related" applies to the use of a tobacco brand or corporate name, trademark, logo, symbol, or motto, selling message, recognizable pattern or colors, or any other indicia of product identical to or similar to, or identifiable with those used for any brand of tobacco products or company which manufactures tobacco products.

No tobacco products or paraphernalia shall be sold or distributed as samples on university  grounds,  either  in  vending  machines,  the  student  union,  or  any  area   on campus.

Section 5. Enforcement.

The success of this policy will depend on the thoughtfulness, consideration, and cooperation of smokers and nonsmokers. All students, faculty, and staff share in the responsibility for adhering to and enforcing this policy. Visitors, contractors, and other individuals on the Benedict College campus who are in violation of the policy should be reminded of the policy and asked to comply by discarding the tobacco product. All staff, faculty, and students violating the policy should be reminded of the policy and asked to comply by discarding the tobacco product.

If a student refuses to comply with the policy, the Office of Student Affairs shall be contacted at 803-705-4624. That office will follow-up with the student regarding the policy and available resources to include the Office of Counseling at 803-705-4741.

If a staff or faculty member refuses to comply with the policy, the immediate supervisor shall be notified. The immediate supervisor will follow-up with the employee to remind him/her about the policy and available resources. Continuing violations may also result in appropriate disciplinary action up to and including dismissal in conjunction with the Benedict College disciplinary process.

Section 6. Cessation.

The Office of Counseling will assist any individual who wishes to quit smoking. The individual will be encouraged to enroll in a comprehensive smoking cessation program. All interested faculty, staff, and students can contact The Palmetto Health Smoking Cessation Program for a free comprehensive, adult smoking cessation program. Call Carecall at 803- 296-2273 for more information.

Copies of this policy shall be distributed to all faculty and staff and shall be included with information given to all admitted students. Announcements shall also be printed in campus newspapers to insure that everyone understands the policy. Signs prohibiting smoking and the use of tobacco products shall be posted at all points of entry to the Benedict College campus and at all Benedict College building entrances. No ashtrays shall be provided at any location on campus.

This policy is being announced 30 days prior to its implementation in order to give smokers time to adapt to its restrictions and to facilitate a smooth transition to a tobacco- free environment. On-site smoking cessation programs shall be made available to assist and encourage individuals who wish to quit smoking. Questions and problems regarding this policy should be handled through existing departmental administrative channels and administrative procedures.

This Policy shall be effective on July 1, 2016.

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