Tobacco-Free Campus Policy

The University of South Carolina Upstate is dedicated to providing a safe, healthful, comfortable and productive learning, living and working environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), direct smoking is currently responsible for approximately 3.5 million deaths worldwide each year. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) is responsible for an estimated 53,000 deaths per year in nonsmokers. In addition, the 1986 US Surgeon General’s Report entitled, The Health Consequences of Involuntary Smoking, concluded the following:  Involuntary smoking is a cause of disease, including lung cancer, in healthy nonsmokers. The simple separation of smokers and nonsmokers within the same airspace may reduce, but does not eliminate, the exposure of the nonsmoker to ETS. In addition to causing direct health and environmental hazards, smoking contributes to institutional costs in other ways, including fire damage, cleaning and maintenance costs and costs associated with employee absenteeism, health care and medical insurance.

In light of this information, and as part of a global wellness initiative for the University, USC Upstate shall become a completely tobacco-free and smoke-free campus. The policy expands the 2011 smoke-free/tobacco-free policy to include the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) of any kind (either prescribed or non-prescribed electronic nicotine delivery devices). The intent of this policy is to create an environment that is conducive to quitting tobacco use, promoting the prevention of tobacco use and preventing the risks associated with exposure to secondhand smoke and vapors. This will be supported by ongoing communications and cessation programs for those who desire to quit or abstain from tobacco. Enforcement for the policy is the responsibility of each member of the USC Upstate community. Faculty, staff and students are expected to enforce the policy for their facilities and/or sponsored activities.

A. Covered Individuals

The provisions of this policy apply 24 hours a day, seven days a week to all students, faculty, staff, visitors, volunteers, contractors and vendors unless otherwise noted. 

B. Definitions
  1. “Tobacco and smoking products” include all tobacco-derived or containing products, including but not limited to cigarettes (i.e. clove, bidis, kreteks), electronic cigarettes, cigars and cigarillos, pipes, water pipes, smokeless tobacco products or substitutions (spit and spitless, chew, pouches, snuff) or any other device intended to simulate smoked tobacco. This does not apply to nicotine replacement therapy, which is designed to assist tobacco users to quit tobacco. Acceptable forms of nicotine replacement therapy include prescription nasal spray and/or oral inhaler medications, nicotine gum, transdermal nicotine skin patches and nicotine lozenges.  

  2. USC Upstate property includes all owned or leased buildings (including all offices, classrooms, laboratories, meeting rooms, residence halls, restrooms, lobbies, lounges, cafeterias, hallways, stairwells, elevators, etc.), building entrances, balconies, decks, patios, outside stairways to buildings and outdoor passageways to entrances; buildings on land for use by the University; in all University vehicles; sidewalks; parking lots; athletic venues; common areas; and any and all land for use by the University, including campus "green spaces."

    This also includes the areas of USC Upstate in Greenville, the George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics in downtown Spartanburg and any other current or future USC Upstate owned or leased properties.
C. Use of Tobacco Products
  1. The use of tobacco products is prohibited on university property. No ashtrays, receptacles or smoking shelters will be permitted.

  2. The use of tobacco products is prohibited in university-owned, operated or leased vehicles.

  3. The use of tobacco products is prohibited in personal vehicles parked on university property.

  4. The university discourages the use of tobacco products by all covered individuals on properties adjacent to the campus.
D. Support of Tobacco Products
  1. All tobacco advertising, including flyers, posters, electronic media, University newspapers and other publications etc., is prohibited on the USC Upstate campus and other current or future USC Upstate owned or leased properties, as supported by the University posting policy.

  2. The sale of tobacco products and tobacco-related merchandise (including logo items) is prohibited on all USC Upstate property, as well as other current or future USC Upstate owned or leased properties and at university-sponsored events, regardless of the operating vendor.
  3. The free distribution of any tobacco product is prohibited on the USC Upstate campus and other current or future USC Upstate owned or leased properties, including to or by any clubs or organizations.

  4. Tobacco industry and related company sponsorship of athletic events is prohibited. 

  5. USC Upstate campus organizations are prohibited from accepting money or gifts from tobacco companies, or from distributing free, reduced-price or fully priced tobacco products (including all items containing tobacco as well as promotional products such as t-shirts, hats, etc.).    
E. Communication of Policy
  1. News and information will be posted on the Tobacco-Free Upstate website here. 

  2. References to this policy will be added to student handbooks, orientation communications and other publications as appropriate. 

  3. Copies of this policy will be distributed regularly to all students, faculty and staff.

  4. “Tobacco-free” and “No-Smoking” signs will be posted throughout campus and in any and other current or future USC Upstate owned or leased properties and all ash trays and “butt containers” will be removed.

  5. The Visitor Center and appropriate staff will assist in informing all visitors of the policy and asking that they comply while on any university property. All community members are encouraged to assist with the education of visitors and volunteers regarding our policy. 

  6. A provision will be inserted in all contracts, e.g. dining, construction and/org maintenance, to prohibit the employees of contractor/vendors from using tobacco products on USC Upstate property. 

  7. All advertisements for recruitment of students and employment of faculty and staff will denote that “USC Upstate is a tobacco-free campus”. Communication tips for Upstate community members to use in helping to enforce the policy will be available at the Tobacco-Free Upstate website.
F. Tobacco Cessation Resources

The university will offer resources and support to assist those tobacco users who desire to quit or abstain from using tobacco. Tobacco cessation resources and programs will be promoted or offered for university students, faculty and staff. Many of these programs are offered at little to no cost.

G. Enforcement and Compliance
  1. The Chancellor, Vice Chancellors, Deans, Departments Heads and other Supervisors will communicate this policy to all faculty and staff members of their respective areas of responsibility. Violations of this policy by faculty or staff will be the responsibility of that individual’s supervisor.

  2. Enforcement for the policy is the responsibility of each member of the Upstate community. Faculty, staff, students and volunteers are expected to enforce the policy for their facilities and/or sponsored activities. Each individual should in a consistent and civil way bring any infractions of this policy to the attention of the person or person observed violating the policy. Faculty, staff and students are also expected to assume leadership roles by adhering to the policy provisions and by reminding others who are not in compliance of the policy provisions.

  3. In the event a community member does not respond to a reminder, USC Upstate faculty, staff, students and volunteers will assist in the enforcement of this policy by reporting repeated violations to the appropriate body, as described in the provisions below.

  4. Corrective actions will include an educational component and, for those who wish to quit using tobacco, referral to a tobacco cessation program. Referrals may be made to Health Services at (864) 503-5191. For more information refer to Section F of this policy.