Posted on 03/31/2014
The Council of Regional Cancer Coalitions of Georgia commends the University System of Georgia (USG) Board of Regents for their recent adoption of a system-wide tobacco-free campus policy. This decision augments the work being done around the state to create tobacco-free school systems and workplaces and to educate Georgians on the harmful effects of tobacco use.
Dr. James Hotz, Board Chairman for the Council, expressed the Council’s support for the measure recently passed by the Board of Regents. “The Council is pleased to see the University System take a strong stance against tobacco use on its campuses. We are beginning to see more businesses and organizations making public health a priority, and when large and important entities change policy, it encourages others to do the same,” said Hotz. Each of the five regional cancer coalitions conducts tobacco education and cessation programs, and they say that the USG’s decision will help strengthen their efforts.
From the Board of Regents: On March 19, the Board of Regents voted to create a policy that will prohibit the use of all forms of tobacco products on property owned, leased, rented or in the possession of the University System of Georgia (USG). 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.
“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. The overall policy follows the lead of more than half of all USG institutions that already are tobacco and/or smoke free … Fedrick said, “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.”
While 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.
The Council of Regional Cancer Coalition of Georgia is comprised of the Central Georgia Cancer Coalition, East Georgia Cancer Coalition, Northwest Georgia Regional Cancer Coalition, Cancer Coalition of South Georgia, and West Central Georgia Cancer Coalition. The Council promotes collaboration, identifies and disseminates best practices and presents a unified voice for common interests across the state.