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New 'tobacco free' policy isn't a breath of fresh air for everyone at CofC

The month of July is bringing a lot of changes to the College of Charleston.

Not only will Glenn McConnell step in as president July 1st, but there will also be a "no tobacco" policy enforced on the college property.

Despite the inevitable decrease of smoke in the air, many students feel this decision isn't a breath of fresh air.

"I think it's an American right to smoke tobacco if you want to and that's an infringement upon those rights," said rising Junior James Coulter.

"Honestly, I think it's kind of limiting because this isn't just a campus, it's a city," said rising Junior Emily Jaskwich. "So, I'm kind of interested to see how they're going to actually enforce it. Then, I have friends who smoke. I don't smoke personally. But, I think if they stay in their respective areas for smoking then it doesn't really kind of interfere with other people's daily lives."

Still, other students feel this policy is long overdue.

"I'm okay with it. Worst thing ever is when you're walking down the Cougar Mall and there's like this lingering smell of smoke as you walk through there," said Ben Buckwalter. "So, that'll be a refresher."

Chief of staff at College of Charleston Brian McGee says going tobacco free is an international trend, and it's something the College is trying to be consistent with.

"I think we have a wonderful opportunity here to encourage healthy lifestyles for our students, our faculty, our staff," said McGee.

Before this policy, it was illegal to smoke inside a building owned by the college.

Now, it's illegal to smoke, tobacco of any kind, on any property the college owns.

It is still legal to smoke on city streets and sidewalks.

McGee says the college will release a map soon outlining what the College property includes, and the boundaries between the school and the city.

"We're not out to put anybody in jail and we're certainly not out to be punitive," said McGee. "What we want to do is inform people of the policy and encourage them not to smoke. It will be a long, long time before we get aggressive."

Other colleges and universities around the country, including MUSC and University of South Carolina, have gone tobacco free. McGee says he happy to finally see this policy go into effect.

To see what this policy entails, click on the link: http://policy.cofc.edu/documents/6.1.5-07012014.pdf

Copyright 2014 WCSC. All rights reserved.

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