Limestone College is making the move to a tobacco and smoke-free campus.
Joining a growing number of colleges across the state and nation that are prohibiting smoking and the use of tobacco products, Limestone’s new policy is intended to promote a healthy educational and work environment for students, faculty, staff, and visitors.
The Limestone Board of Trustees voted in favor of the policy during its regularly scheduled spring meeting held on April 20. The policy prohibits smoking and the use of any tobacco products on all property owned, leased, or operated by the College. It will be phased in throughout the summer and will be fully implemented with the start of the fall semester.
As of the fall of 2017, more than 2,000 campuses nationwide were completely smoke and tobacco free – which represents an increase of 252 percent compared to six years prior. Adults ages 18-29 are among the biggest users of cigarettes, which closely mirrors the age demographic of college students.
“Making our campus tobacco-free improves the quality of life for everyone here,” said Limestone President Dr. Darrell Parker. “Part of our responsibility is to ensure the health and safety of our students. This policy will reduce the health risks related to smoking, second-hand smoke, and tobacco usage. We are also confident that it will make our campus cleaner and more inviting.”
Dr. Parker added that more information would be provided to the campus community once the details have been finalized.
According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of disease, disability and death in the United States. Each year, an estimated 443,000 people die prematurely from smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke, and another 8.6 million live with a serious illness caused by smoking.
The new policy states that tobacco and smoke-related products include cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, smokeless/chewing tobacco, electronic cigarettes, herbal smoke products, hookahs, beedies, and any other smoke-related substances or products the College chooses to prohibit.
The use of all tobacco and smoke-related products is prohibited on all Limestone properties, including buildings, facilities, student housing, and outdoor areas such as sidewalks, parking lots, athletic fields, and common areas.
The rules apply to all students, faculty, staff, other employees, contractors, performers, and visitors.