Clemson University says a new task force will soon begin meeting as it prepares to ban tobacco across the entire college campus by 2014. School officials said the group will include students, professors, and administrators.
“Given what we know about tobacco use— and given the trend among institutions of higher education to go tobacco-free— we’re proposing that it’s time for Clemson University to do the same thing,” said Clemson’s Executive Director of Student Health Services George Clay, who will chair the task force.
The school has already banned smoking both indoors and within 25 feet of its buildings.
Clay said Clemson leaders have decided to will ban smoking across the campus, but created the task force to bring different groups together to write the school policy. The group would make its recommendations in 2014, he said. Clemson would become the fourth college in South Carolina to ban tobacco campus-wide, following Charleston Southern, Lander, and USC-Upstate. Other schools, such as the University of South Carolina, have indoor smoking bans.
Clay said he has gotten a lot of email since the school announced the task force. It was about 3-to-1 against a campus-wide smoking ban, he said. However, Clay said he believes that opposition will eventually go away, as it did for the school’s earlier indoor smoking ban.
“There’s initially quite a large degree of resistance and a lot of questions,” he told South Carolina Radio Network, “But once everyone has had a chance to talk it through, the support for the policy grows.”
He said previous surveys found that about 12 percent of Clemson students reported that they smoke on campus. That does not include any faculty and staff who also smoke.