Possible tobacco ban coming to College of Charleston - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Possible tobacco ban coming to College of Charleston

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Throughout the summer, College of Charleston administrators are considering whether or not to ban all forms of tobacco on its campus.

The draft of the ordinance was given to officials in May. Faculty and students have been working on this ordinance throughout this year. Money for the ban comes from a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Olivia Thompson has been working with the students to get this initiative passed. She said it is crucial to keeping students healthy.

"It's critical," Thompson said. "As an educator, what I know is that healthy students learn better. Healthy students attend my class, and they students who are in my class do better in my class and overall have a better learning experience."

In January, College of Charleston officials voted down a possible ban. Despite that, Thompson said many administrators, students and faculty support the tobacco ban.

"We do have support overwhelmingly from the faculty, "she said. "The faculty Senate just wanted some things ironed out regarding enforcement and implementation. "

The biggest question remaining with the ordinance is figuring out which areas will be tobacco free. Many are hoping for a campus-wide ban, but Thompson said they need to get the ordinance past first.

"The first step is to get a policy on the books," Thompson said. "And then after we get a tobacco free policy on the books then we will really work out those details in collaboration with the city."

Thompson said once the ordinance passes, it will take about six months to fully implement the ban, so smokers won't be caught off guard with the new rule.

Officials said they are using a lot of what the Medical University of South Carolina used when they decided to go to a smoking ban.

Administrators have through the summer to reach a decision on the ban. The College currently has areas that don't allow smoking. The ban will add more areas to that list.

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