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University System of Georgia Goes Tobacco, Smoke Free

09-30-2014

A University System of Georgia policy that prohibits the use of all forms of tobacco products – including the use of electronic cigarettes or other smoking devices – on any property owned, leased, rented or in the possession of the University System of Georgia goes into effect Wednesday.

The overall policy follows the lead of more than half of all USG institutions that already are tobacco and/or smoke free.

Gordon State College has had such a ban in effect since June 1, 2011.

The policy applies to all employees, students, contractors, subcontractors and visitors and is applicable 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Also, all events hosted by a USG-entity or on behalf of the USG shall be tobacco and smoke free, according to the policy.

“Our aim with this policy is to preserve and improve the health, comfort and environment of employees and any persons occupying USG facilities,” said Marion Fedrick, the USG’s vice chancellor for Human Resources.

In the 2014 report from the Surgeon General, Assistant Secretary for Health and Safety Howard Koh stated, “Cigarette smoking remains the chief preventable killer in America, with more than 40 million Americans caught in a web of tobacco dependence.”

“The University System recognizes these serious health implications and feels it’s our responsibility to promote the health and well-being of our students, faculty, staff and visitors,” Fedrick said.

Enforcement of the policy is the responsibility of the president of the institution, the policy notes that it is also a shared community responsibility. Violations of the policy will be handled under the Student Code of Conduct or campus human resource policies. Visitors refusing to comply with the policy may be asked to leave campus.

The University System, along with campuses, will provide information on tobacco cessation for those seeking assistance. Resources for tobacco cessation can be found on the USG Workplace Wellness website at http://www.usg.edu/wellness.