In the recent open enrollment employees were made to complete a Nicotine Affidavit. It is absurd to charge nicotine users $50/month when a more productive solution for eradicating nicotine use from Centre's campus is to make the campus smoke-free. If the College truly wants to improve the campus environment in this manner, why not explore such an option? There are campuses in this state (e.g. Morehead State University) that are smoke- and nicotine-free campuses that we could easily use as models, if the campus were willing to look into such methods. Pursuing a smoke free campus option seems far more proactive than trying to discourage employees from using nicotine by implementing a usage surcharge. This would be a worthwhile issue for Staff Congress to look into. A smoke-free campus seems to be more beneficial to the College in the long-run, as opposed to trying to force employees to quit by charging them a nicotine usage surcharge or forcing them into nicotine cessation programs.
Response from Human Resources Office:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the nation. There are nearly 500,000 tobacco-related deaths per year in the U.S. alone, including over 40,000 deaths that can be attributed to secondhand smoke exposure. Using tobacco also contributes to chronic and serious diseases, which results in increased healthcare costs. Centre College implemented a nicotine surcharge to promote a culture of health and wellness on campus, encouraging faculty and staff to make healthy choices. The promotion of a tobacco-free environment is a proactive way to help manage healthcare costs. As well, the College has had conversations in the past about moving to a smoke-free campus, and this topic will likely be considered again in the future, along with other proactive ways to promote health and wellness.