Campus News

March 16, 2011

Tobacco-free campus being explored

A task force is studying the feasibility of implementing a tobacco-free campus policy effective for this fall.

The task force was created by President Jim Wagner as an exploratory effort, and as an extension of Emory's current "no smoking" policies.

Led by Vice President for Human Resources Peter Barnes, Associate Vice President for Human Resources Theresa Milazzo, and executive sponsor, Chancellor Michael Johns, the 25-member group is exploring a concept previously endorsed by the University Senate, Employee Council and leadership of the Student Government Association.

Emory's tobacco-free policy would apply to all University and Emory Healthcare properties.

"The use of tobacco is one of the leading preventative health risks worldwide," says Barnes. "Allowing the use of tobacco on Emory's campus is incongruous with our knowledge of the significant health risks, especially in light of Emory's role as an institution of higher education and as a health care provider.  Further, Emory has multiple areas of research expertise on tobacco use and its issues, so we are well positioned to address this health concern."

The task force's objectives include:

• Proposing a tobacco-free policy;

• Identifying issues and concerns associated with such a policy;

• Addressing implementation issues to support a tobacco-free campus;

• Recommending resources to aid in cessation of the use of tobacco products;

• Identifying prevention and education initiatives; and

• Recommending practical approaches to sustain a tobacco-free environment. 

These objectives and the work of the task force has been endorsed by the University Senate.

Members of the task force are from the areas of governance, facilities, communications, student life, human resources and health care. Faculty, staff and students are represented on its committees.

Part of the task force's work will include collecting input from students, faculty and staff through focus groups and a survey.  A website will launch in early April and will allow faculty, staff and students to comment on this policy.

Currently, more than 450 colleges and universities have enacted 100 percent-smoke-free campuses (indoors and outdoors). 

Recommendations to the president on implementing the policy are expected later this semester.

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