Beginning this fall semester, Georgia Tech will become a tobacco-free campus, in accordance with the Tobacco- and Smoke-Free Campus Policy passed by the Board of Regents in March.
This policy bans all forms of tobacco on all university and college campuses in the University System of Georgia (USG). The ban includes traditional cigarettes and chewing tobacco as well as e-cigarettes, clove cigarettes, pipes, and hookahs. The goal of the policy is to protect and improve the health, comfort, and environment of students, employees, and any persons occupying USG campuses.
The USG reports that, currently, more than 50 percent of USG schools are already smoke- or tobacco-free.
“We’re joining the 30 other institutions in the University System of Georgia, as well as almost 1,000 colleges throughout the nation,” said President G.P. “Bud” Peterson. “It will require a culture change, which is never easy; however, working together, we can improve the health, comfort, and environment of everyone here at Georgia Tech.”
Although tobacco use will be prohibited on campus, some individuals may choose to continue to use tobacco away from campus. Georgia Tech respects this choice and is requesting that all staff, faculty, students, and campus visitors adhere to the tobacco-free policy while on campus. “As we make the transition to a tobacco-free campus, we are asking our community to work together in a respectful manner,” Peterson said.
Looking to quit?
For those who want to become tobacco-free, cessation programs will be available to students, faculty, and staff to help ease the transition into a tobacco-free lifestyle.
According to Dr. Gregory Moore, senior director of Stamps Health Services, “Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable and premature death in the United States, and research indicates that many young adults choose to be tobacco users between the ages of 18 and 25.
“We understand the addictive nature of tobacco use – quitting is not easy – and are fully prepared to provide a variety of cessation programs to help both students and employees try to kick the habit for good.”
Over-the-counter (OTC) nicotine replacement products including skin patches, chewing gum, and lozenges are currently available for students, faculty, and staff at Stamps Health Services. These products will be free of charge to students and employees who enroll in a cessation program through Stamps Health Services.
Students interested in participating in a cessation program are invited to schedule an appointment at Stamps Health Services to meet with a tobacco treatment specialist and develop an individualized treatment plan. Stamps Health Services is offering Food and Drug Administration-approved smoking cessation products on a prescription-only basis to students.
Faculty and staff interested in quitting are invited to sign-up for Freedom From Smoking® group sessions conducted by the American Lung Association, offered at no cost to participants.
Students, faculty, and staff can learn more about these cessation programs by visiting the Stamps Health Services website or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Faculty and staff should also visit the USG Workplace Wellness Program website for more information on tobacco cessation programs, including how to qualify for free coverage for OTC and prescription smoking cessation products.
Stamps Health Services Seeks Input on Tobacco Cessation Programs
Georgia Tech understands that the transition to a tobacco- and smoke-free campus will take time and is ready to assist community members who are ready to become tobacco-free.
Through Stamps Health Services, Tech is offering tobacco cessation programs to students, faculty, and staff. In order to provide meaningful and effective cessation programs, Stamps Health Services is asking for input in a three-minute survey. All answers will be kept confidential.