DENMARK — In accordance with its healthy campus initiative, Voorhees College has joined a growing number of college campuses in South Carolina and throughout the nation who have adopted tobacco-free campus policies.
Beginning Sept. 1, Voorhees College will implement its tobacco-free campus initiative. Additionally, campus security will have the sole authority to fine individuals for violating the tobacco-free campus policy beginning December 2013. First offense will be charged $10, second offense is $20 and a third offense and all additional subsequent offenses will be $50.
“Although there are fines associated with the violation of the policy, the primary goal is to assist tobacco users with cessation and to provide cleaner air for the campus community,” said Leroy Davis, executive director for the Center of Excellence in Rural and Minority Health.
Davis added, “The adoption of this policy is a culmination of a year-long tobacco-free campus campaign by the Student Government Association, other student organizations and several faculty and staff members.”
Funding for a tobacco-free Voorhees College was provided by the Healthy South Carolina Initiative, a program of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and the South Carolina Tobacco-free Collaborative.
As reported by the Environmental Protection Agency, second-hand smoke is responsible for an estimated 53,000 deaths per year in non-smokers.
The primary goal of this policy is to provide a 100 percent tobacco-free, smoke-free environment for all students, faculty, staff and visitors within all campus facilities and at all sponsored events.
To maintain a tobacco-free campus, Voorhees will implement several new actions. The use of all tobacco products and/or paraphernalia will be prohibited. Smoking will be prohibited within business-owned or leased vehicles, in buildings and on the grounds.
Additionally, Voorhees will not accept any contributions or gifts, money or materials from the tobacco industry, and the college will not participate in any type of services funded by the tobacco industry.
Over the next three months, the campus community will be educated through various methods about the new tobacco-free campus policy.
“The Center of Excellence in Rural and Minority Health and Campus Security will play prominent roles in enforcement of the new policy,” Davis said.