Great American Smokeout on Nov. 16

November 8, 2023

To: USC Faculty and Staff

Re: Great American Smokeout on Nov. 16, Tobacco Cessation Resources and Smoke-free Policy

Fr: Sarah Van Orman, MD MMM FACHA; Vice President and Chief Campus Health Officer of USC; Division Chief for College Health, Keck School of Medicine of USC
Deona Willes, MPH, CLS, Executive Director, USC Environmental Health and Safety 

USC is committed to promoting a healthy, safe, and comfortable environment for all faculty, staff, students, and visitors. This includes having a smoke-free campus and making our community aware of the Great American Smokeout on Nov. 16, 2023. 

We have also included helpful resources below for those who smoke and want to quit, and those who want to support and encourage loved ones who smoke to quit. 

Tobacco Cessation Resources and Information 

Resources for employees — USC Premier Care, a Keck Medicine of USC health care navigation service available to USC Trojan Care EPO and USC PPO patients,  is providing a free smoking cessation program for USC employees. This program is available to all USC faculty and staff enrolled in any of the following medical plans: USC Trojan Care EPO, Anthem HMO, Anthem MyChoice HMO, and Kaiser HMO. Our experts will help you understand options and develop a personal plan. 

USC health resources — Tobacco cessation programs of the USC Pharmacies and Faculty Practice of USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy are open to students, faculty and staff, as well as members of the public. 

General resources — For support in quitting, including free quit coaching, a free quit plan, free educational materials, and referrals to local resources, visit or call 1-800-784-8669. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers information to help yourself or help others to cease tobacco product usage.  

Information on USC’s smoke-free campuses 

Smoking is prohibited in all indoor and outdoor facilities on university-owned and leased property with no exception, including within vehicles parked on those properties. For more information, refer to USC’s Smoke-Free Policy. 

Risks associated with smoking 

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, causes many diseases, and reduces the health of smokers in general. Quitting smoking lowers your risk for smoking-related diseases and can add years to your life. After you smoke your last cigarette, your body begins a series of positive changes that continues for years. 

More than 16 million Americans are living with a disease caused by smoking. Additionally, about 54,010 new cases and 10,850 deaths occur yearly from oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer. 

For every person who dies because of smoking, at least 30 people live with a serious smoking-related illness. We know that adults who smoke have a higher risk of getting sick with pneumonia and having severe illness from infections like the flu or contracting COVID-19. As a reminder, flu vaccinations are available for all USC faculty, students, and staff. 

Researchers at USC’s Keck School of Medicine have identified using e-cigarettes linked to adverse biological changes that can cause disease in a recent vaping study.

Smoking also impacts the health and well-being of others. Secondhand smoke exposure contributes to approximately 41,000 deaths among nonsmoking adults and 400 deaths among infants yearly. 

If you smoke, the best choice for your lung health and the health of others is to quit.  

Thank you for considering quitting or supporting those who are in the process of quitting, and for observing the smoke-free policies of our campuses. Our community appreciates your efforts!