Tobacco-Free College

Central Piedmont is committed to providing its employees, students, and visitors with a safe and healthy environment. Tobacco is a medically-proven health risk, and an increasing number of schools, colleges, universities, public facilities, private businesses, and work-places are becoming tobacco-free. Central Piedmont is a 100 percent tobacco-free college. Our tobacco-free campuses model healthy behaviors and offer individuals of all ages a healthier place to learn, work, and visit.

All forms of tobacco, including smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes/vapes) are prohibited on all Central Piedmont campuses and property, including all grounds, buildings, facilities, parking lots, and college-owned vehicles. The policy applies to everyone, including campus visitors and construction workers, at all times. All Central Piedmont students and employees are expected to comply fully with the Tobacco-Free College policy. Students who repeatedly violate the policy will face student conduct process as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct. Employees who repeatedly violate the policy will be referred to their supervisor, who will be expected to follow the employee disciplinary process.

For details on the college's tobacco policy, review Central Piedmont's full tobacco-free policy or contact Mark Helms, Dean of Student Life and Service Learning, at

Information and Resources

  • Central Piedmont's Tobacco-Free Policy History

    In early spring of 2009, Central Piedmont administration appointed a Task Force to review the college’s smoking policy, research policies at other colleges and universities, determine best practices, and develop recommendations for changes to our existing policy. This Task Force included 17 people representing all Central Piedmont campuses, Student Government Association, College Senate, Classified Staff Council, and at least four people who were tobacco users at the time.

    The Task Force quickly went to work. We learned that 27 colleges and universities in North Carolina had already adopted tobacco-free policies. We discussed the legislation that banned smoking from restaurants and bars beginning January 2, 2010. We learned that the NC state employee’s health plan was developing plans to limit insurance coverage for tobacco users. We participated in a state-wide teleconference presentation featuring officials from a number of colleges with tobacco-free campus policies. And we held lengthy discussions of the pros and cons of adopting a tobacco-free policy at Central Piedmont. 

    In March of 2009, the Task Force conducted a survey of all Central Piedmont students and employees. We received 2,195 responses, which is a remarkably high response rate. At that time, the survey showed that 21% of respondents used tobacco products; 23% of respondents reported a health condition that was aggravated by tobacco smoke; and 64% indicated that they believed Central Piedmont should do more to reduce tobacco use, and that they would support a 100% tobacco-free policy on all campuses.

    In late April of 2009, the Task Force voted to recommend a 100% tobacco-free college policy.  We developed a draft policy and presented it to the Central Piedmont Cabinet in June. During the summer, college officials reviewed the draft policy, discussed the pros and cons, and ultimately decided to support the recommendations of the Task Force. On September 2, 2009, the Central Piedmont Board of Trustees voted to adopt the tobacco-free college policy, and established an implementation date of January 2, 2010.

    Central Piedmont is among a growing number of colleges and universities across the country that are choosing to become tobacco free. We believe that tobacco-free campuses model healthy behaviors and offer individuals of all ages a healthier place to learn, work, and visit.

  • A Tobacco-Free Colleges Movement

    Tobacco-Free College advocates are banding together to change the cultural acceptance of tobacco use on college campuses across North Carolina. Nearly 19% of all 18-24 year-olds in the United States smoke, and this is the only age group nationally in which smoking rates are increasing. Tobacco-Free College advocates work to prevent initiation of tobacco use among young adults (18-24); eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke on college campuses; promote cessation among young adults; and reduce health disparities among college students attributable to tobacco use. Smoke-free advocates draw attention to the known dangers associated with tobacco use and secondhand smoke; they also do something about the issue. Activists work to create change on their college campus, building support, raising awareness, advocating for 100% tobacco-free policies, and promoting the Health and Wellness Trust Fund (HWTF)-funded tobacco use Quitline (800-QUIT-NOW). For more information Visit the Tobacco-Free Colleges movement website for more information.

  • Resources for Faculty

    Central Piedmont instructors are encouraged to make classroom announcements about the college's tobacco-free policy. Communicating the policy to our students is important to the success of this policy. In support of our communications efforts, we would appreciate classroom and lab instructors making the following announcement to their students at the beginning of each semester:

    Central Piedmont is a 100% tobacco-free college. This important policy applies at all times as outlined here:

    • all college property on all campuses
    • all buildings, grounds, and parking lots
    • all students, employees, visitors
    • all forms of tobacco (including smokeless tobacco, electronic cigarettes/vapes)


    Do you use tobacco and want to quit? We provide a number of resources to help students quit. Counseling Services are available to talk with students about making healthy lifestyle changes and can be contacted at 704.330.6433.

    Students who continue to use tobacco products on campus will be in violation of college policy and the Student Code of Conduct and will be handled through the disciplinary process. Central Piedmont believes that tobacco-free campuses model healthy behaviors and offer individuals of all ages a healthier place to learn, work, and visit. Thank you for supporting this change on our campuses.

    Let's Look into the Numbers!

    A survey of Central Piedmont students and employees in March 2009 yielded these results:

    • 21% of Central Piedmont students/employees respondents currently use tobacco products
    • 23% of Central Piedmont students/employees reported a health condition that makes it difficult to be around tobacco smoke
    • 64% of Central Piedmont students/employees believe more needs to be done on Central Piedmont campuses to reduce tobacco use
    • 64% of Central Piedmont students/employees indicated that they would support a 100% tobacco-free college policy

    The Tobacco-Free College policy at Central Piedmont became effective on January 2, 2010. That same day, smoking was banned in all public restaurants and bars in North Carolina.

  • Resources to Help You Quit Using Tobacco Products

    • 1-800-QUIT-NOW and Quitline NC is a free service that provides a personal cessation coach, and some students may be eligible for over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapy patches or lozenges at no cost
    • provides free, evidence-based information and professional assistance to help support the immediate and long-term needs of people trying to quit smoking
    • Central Piedmont Counseling Services is available to talk with students about making healthy lifestyle changes

    The following information was produced by the U.S. Surgeon General's Office.

    If you quit smoking, you will live longer and feel better. Quitting will lower your chances of having a heart attack, stroke, or cancer. The people you live with, especially children, will be healthier. If you are pregnant, you will improve your chances of having a healthy baby. And you will have extra money to spend on things other than cigarettes. The first thing to do once you've decided to quit is to set a "quit by" date to plan when you will break free of your tobacco addiction. Then, consider visiting your doctor or other health care provider before the quit date. She or he can help by providing practical advice and information on the medication that is best for you. Different people do better with different methods. The gum and patches are available at your local pharmacy, or you can ask your health care provider to write you a prescription for one of the other medications available. Many smokers gain weight when they quit, but it is usually less than 10 pounds. Eat a healthy diet, stay active, and try not to let weight gain distract you from your main goal — quitting smoking. Some of the medications to help you quit may help delay weight gain. If you have friends and family that are smokers, when you are with them tell them that you are quitting and ask them to assist you in this effort. Specifically, ask them not to smoke or leave cigarettes around you. If you feel the urge to smoke, talk with someone, go for a walk, drink water, or get busy with a task. Reduce your stress by taking a hot bath, exercising, or reading a book. When you first try to quit, change your routine. Eat breakfast in a different place, and drink tea instead of coffee. Take a different route to work. It’s best to avoid drinking alcohol for the first three months after quitting because drinking lowers your chances of success at quitting. It helps to drink a lot of water and other nonalcoholic drinks when you are trying to quit. If you've tried to quit before and it didn't work, remember that most people have to try to quit at least 2 or 3 times before they are successful. Review your past attempts to quit. Think about what worked — and what didn’t — and try to use your most successful strategies again. If you need more help, get individual, group, or telephone counseling. The more counseling you get, the better your chances are of quitting for good. Programs are given at local hospitals and health centers. Call your local health department for information about programs in your area. Also, talk with your doctor or other health care provider.