Originally created 10/06/04

Charleston college may go smoke-free



CHARLESTON, S.C. - The College of Charleston is considering a smoking ban in residence halls and other places on campus.

The new smoking policy would divide the campus into smoking and nonsmoking areas. The student government association is scheduled to vote on the change later this month, and if approved, the proposal would move to the faculty senate and then to President Lee Higdon for final approval.

Mr. Higdon favors the change, but wants it "to come from the students," said Laura Lindroth, a health educator with Counseling and Substance Abuse Services on campus.

Ms. Lindroth said quality-of-life student surveys in the past few years indicate most would prefer a smoke-free campus. The most recent survey found as much as 70 percent of students favor a smoke-free campus. And 700 students signed a petition last spring supporting smoke-free residence halls, Ms. Lindroth said.

"There's obviously a desire among the students," she said.

The city of Charleston has considered a smoking ban, and a committee recently required restaurants to post their smoking policies. The committee also said the city should consider incentives for restaurants that go smoke-free.

But some smoking students don't like the idea.

"I think that would cause a lot of controversy on campus, and I think people would resist it," said Whitney Holt, a senior who smokes.