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Enhanced enforcement of tobacco-free campus policy begins spring 2015

Emory Report | Jan. 12, 2015

Emory continues to promote a tobacco-free environment as Campus Life, Campus Services, and Human Resources team up to substantially strengthen deterrence and enforcement measures, beginning this spring semester. At the same time, the university continues to emphasize respect for smokers as members of the Emory community and offers support for those who want to quit.

Although tobacco use at Emory has become increasingly rare since it was prohibited by the Official University Policy 4.113, Tobacco-Free Environment, implemented Jan. 1, 2012, incidents of abuse are still reported. Additional strategies are being employed to eliminate abuse, including additional signage to increase awareness, as well as expanded patrols by student and staff tobacco-use monitors.

Monitors document tobacco abuse. Per the university's Tobacco-Free Environment Policy, "Repeated violations of this policy may result in disciplinary action under the Student Code of Conduct, Emory Human Resources Policies and Procedures, or other applicable Emory regulations or policies. Emory visitors are expected to comply with Emory's tobacco free environment."

The university urges tobacco users to remember that tobacco use is harmful not only to themselves but to the entire community. Secondhand smoke contributes to poor indoor and outdoor air quality and aggravates a number of medical conditions.

Research also shows that secondhand smoke is known to cause disease, and individuals exposed to secondhand smoke have a higher risk of illnesses related to tobacco use, including increased mortality. In addition, cigarettes not completely snuffed out can cause fires, and discarded cigarette butts project a negative image of the university.

All state schools in Georgia are now required to be tobacco-free. More than 1,400 campuses are smoke-free in the United States, and nearly two-thirds are fully tobacco-free. With a growing number of workplaces nationwide also tobacco-free, now is a great time for students who use tobacco to quit. Emory offers a range of resources to support students, including free or low-cost cessation options. The university also provides resources for employees who want to quit.

All members of the Emory community are encouraged to help promote a tobacco-free campus. Materials to support policy enforcement are available online, including videos, sample scripts, and an anonymous reporting process.

To learn more, please visit tobaccofree.emory.edu or email tobaccofree@emory.edu.