USC will ban all tobacco products on campus in 2014 - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

USC will ban all tobacco products on campus in 2014

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Smokers at the University of South Carolina will soon have to find a new place to light up as all tobacco products will be banned from campus beginning in January.

It's an expansion of a tobacco policy from 2006 that required smokes to stay 25 feet away from doors and outdoor seating.

"When it was written in 2006, it was written that it was the intention of the university to go completely tobacco-free, so this is really the completion of what we started back in 2006," said university spokesman Wes Hickman.

Hickman says surveys showed overwhelming support from students and faculty that was reflected in the students we caught up with Wednesday.

"I'm in support of it," said Katherine Schwichtenberg. "I think it's great that you can walk anywhere on campus and not have to worry about second hand smoke and I think it will encourage people to be more healthy on campus."

"Even in the past couple of days there have been students out smoking on campus and it's just annoying, to be perfectly honest," said freshman Jenna Mewborn.

Mewborn will be saved from annoyance throughout campus, and even at tailgates. The old farmer's market and any university lots will also be tobacco-free.

Campus visitor Sam Takieddine doesn't get it. He smokes, and understands banning it indoors, but everywhere?

"Let's say someone is walking in the street, in the outdoors, the parking lot, what's the point of banning it there when we know it won't harm anyone," said Takieddine.

Hickman says it's about sending a message of general health and wellness.

"The enforcement really isn't the issue here, the important issue is about creating an environment where people feel like they can be healthy and participate in healthy activities and healthy behavior," said Hickman.

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