Tobacco-Free Campus

Help Make MUSC a Healthy, Tobacco-Free Place to Work

As South Carolina’s only academic health center and home to the only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer institute in the state, it is a part of our mission to prevent cancer and to lead by example in providing the healthiest environment possible for everyone on our campuses. Smoking and the use of all tobacco products is prohibited in any locations throughout the state owned or leased by MUSC, including around buildings, grounds or parking areas, and in the Charleston Medical District including Cannon Park. This applies to employees, students, patients, visitors, contractors and vendors.

Ready to Quit?

Quitting smoking is both a mental and a physical undertaking. Mentally, you should be ready and relatively stress-free. Physically, you need to commit to exercising daily and getting plenty of sleep. A person trying to quit must overcome two obstacles: a physical addition to nicotine and a habit. The American Academy of Otolaryngology and the American Lung Association offer the following tips to help users quit using tobacco products:

  • Think about why you want to quit.
  • Pick a stress-free time to quit.
  • Ask for support and encouragement from family, friends, and colleagues.
  • Start doing some exercise or activity each day to relieve stress and improve your health.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Eat a balanced diet.
  • Join a smoking cessation program, or other support group.

Below are several resources available to help achieve the goal of a tobacco free life.

MUSC Health Plan Counseling

Through the health benefits administered by PEBA phone based coaching is obtainable through the American Cancer Society, Quit for Life® program. The program is free to all members who have PEBA health plan coverage. Medications to help stay quit are available through the PEBA pharmacy benefit coverage.

MUSC Campus Face-to-Face Counseling

Those that are not a member of the MUSC Health Plan through PEBA or prefer to meet with a certified tobacco specialist can choose that option. A tobacco cessation specialist can provide vouchers and prescription coordination for medications to help with quitting. To learn more about these services and schedule an appointment call 843-792-9101.

MUSC Tobacco Cessation

When smokers quit, the benefits begin to accrue within twenty minutes of smoking that last cigarette. Visit MUSC Health's Tobacco Cessation website to learn about programs and resources that can help you lead a tobacco-free.

MUSC Health Tobacco Treatment Program

Educate yourself about the harmful effects of tobacco and where to obtain help to quit. Visit MUSC Health's Tobacco Treatment Program website to learn more.

The Tobacco-Free Charleston Medical District

In March of 2012, acting upon the recommendations of the Student Government Association, faculty senate, and board of trustees, MUSC in Charleston became a tobacco-free campus. View FAQs (keep this hyperlink) on MUSC’s tobacco-free campus policies. This policy now extends to all MUSC locations throughout South Carolina.

In October of 2012, MUSC was named a Gold Star by the South Carolina Hospital Association for creating a tobacco-free environment and for providing comprehensive cessation support resources. In addition, we led a coalition of colleges and universities in the state seeking the opportunity to set campus-specific policies concerning tobacco use, H. 4092, which was passed by legislators in June of 2012. As the first tobacco-free campus in the state, we are working with our sister institutions to create their own policies and cessation efforts.

While these efforts have benefited many, the migration of smokers to public sidewalks and properties adjacent to Roper and MUSC created an unhealthy environment for those who must walk through these areas to visit our campuses as well as for private citizens and business owners living and working near our campuses. In response to these concerns, we proposed and passed a smoke free medical district ordinance to protect the health and well-being of our employees, students, patients, and visitors. Effective March 1, 2013, the use of tobacco products are prohibited on all streets and sidewalks within the Medical District as defined by the City of Charleston ordinance as well as all property owned or leased by MUSC. Amendments to the tobacco free campus policy also prohibit the use of tobacco products by staff on private properties adjacent to the Medical District without explicit approval from the property owner.

The MUSC Department of Public Safety and Medical Center Safety and Security will provide enforcement of this ordinance as well as our existing tobacco-free campus policy and will focus primarily on education and public awareness, with ticketing a last resort when dealing with violations. We understand that asking people to move further from our campuses may be a hardship when dealing with the physical effects of nicotine addiction.

As a major health care provider and educator, MUSC has a responsibility to lead by example. Your commitment to not just lead, but model healthy behaviors through a supportive culture is what makes MUSC an impressive example to hospitals, businesses, and higher education of an innovative, health promoting organization. Working together, we can continue to change what’s possible.

Additional Resources