(COLUMBIA, S.C.) Columbia College has announced they are now a tobacco free campus. They are one of 39 institutions licensed by the state of South Carolina to commit to offering a healthy campus environment for students, staff, and visitors alike.
The tobacco free policy has been in the works for over 10 years. Since 1993, Columbia College has limited smoking on campus, implementing a policy of smoke-free buildings in all non-residential areas. In 2001, they included all residential facilities in the smoke-free policy, and designating specific locations on campus as smoking areas: picnic tables, parking lots, and the front porch of their Breed Leadership Center.
Dr. LaNae’ Budden, Vice President for Student Affairs, stated, “The College desires to provide a healthy environment for all students, employees, and visitors to the campus. To this end, Columbia College seeks to offer a smoke-free and tobacco-free environment.” In 2013 the College restricted smoking to the parking lots, and implemented a ticketing procedure for those who violated the new smoking policy.
The Tobacco Free policy has been added to the Student Handbook, but students were also notified through the President’s campus updates. Dr. Budden does not believe this new policy will have a major impact on current students. “Prior to this change, we had designated smoking spaces. Many students did not know about the designated spaces and assumed we were smoke-free already,” explained Dr. Budden. “The Smoking Taskforce/Wellness Committee has been working to go in this direction for over 10 years. We made gradual changes to the designated spaces and felt it was time to 100% smoke and tobacco free.”
Columbia College has been working with the South Carolina Tobacco Free Collaborative to ensure all the students, faculty, and staff have access to resources and tools to make the tobacco free policy a success.