Dear Georgia College Community:
On Oct. 1, 2014, Georgia College joined all University System institutions in becoming tobacco and smoke-free. At Georgia College, we introduced the tobacco and smoke-free policy as part of a campus wide project called “Choose Health.” The Choose Health project aims to offer information and support so every member of the campus community can make informed healthy choices.
It can be difficult to quit using tobacco. To assist members of our campus community to comply with the tobacco and smoke-free campus policy, Georgia College offers smoking cessation classes. Please contact 478-445-5148 or Email Us for more information.
Care for the well-being of all members of the Bobcat Nation is a fundamental value we hold at Georgia College. Because of the mutual concern we have for each other, it is important that we encourage and promote healthy decisions for our campus community. I hope you will join me in encouraging everyone to Choose Health!
With Bobcat Pride,
Steve M. Dorman
Maps of all tobacco free locations:
Policy Title: Tobacco and Smoke-Free Campus Policy
It is the policy of Georgia College to prohibit use of any tobacco products on property owned, leased, rented, in the possession of or in any way used by Georgia College. In addition, advertising, sale, and free sampling of tobacco products on Georgia College property are also prohibited unless specifically stated for research purposes.
All forms of smokeless tobacco including but not limited to chewing tobacco, snuff, and snus
Any other smoking devices that use tobacco, such as hookahs, or simulate the use of tobacco, such as electronic cigarettes
Bridge Scholar Program
Any other person who is attending any classes at a Georgia College property
Full-time, or, Part-time
Regular, Temporary, or, Student
Faculty, or, Staff
Independent Contractor or Subcontractor
An individual who follows an independent trade, business, or profession in which they offer their services to the public and will be performing these duties on our behalf and,
Not a University Employee
Visitors and Spectators
Any person who is not a student, employee, independent contractor or subcontractor of Georgia College and is visiting, using, or participating in events on any Georgia College Property.
Any facilities leased, rented or otherwise used by Georgia College
Any other equipment or property in use by Georgia College and not described above
Smoking which means inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying any lighted tobacco product including cigarettes, cigars, and pipe tobacco
Any smokeless tobacco products employed orally including but not limited to dipping, spitting, chewing and sucking
Nasally employing any smokeless tobacco products including but not limited to all forms of snuff and snus
The operation of any electronic tobacco delivery product
The operation of any smoking devices that simulate the use of tobacco
Any means on employing tobacco for personal satisfaction.
Reason for Policy
This policy is required to adhere to the USG – Board of Regents policy of a Tobacco and Smoke-Free Campus as well as complying with the Georgia Smoke Free Air Act of 2005, Title 31 Chapter 12A.
-- Reinforces Georgia College’s commitment to provide a safe and amicable workplace and place of learning for all employees and students.
-- Preserves and improves the health, comfort, and environment of students, employees, and any other persons occupying or visiting our campuses.
Applicability of the Policy
This policy applies to all persons, which includes but is not limited to students, faculty, staff, contractors and subcontractors, spectators, and visitors who enter the areas defined as property. All events hosted by Georgia College shall be tobacco-free. All events hosted by outside groups on behalf of Georgia College shall also be tobacco-free.
This policy is based on the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia located HERE. To the extent there is any conflict from the actual written Board of Regents (BoR) policy, the BoR policy will prevail.
This prohibition includes but is not limited to all areas indoors and outdoors, sidewalks contiguous to the campus, buildings and parking lots owned, leased, rented or otherwise used by Georgia College or its affiliates. The use of tobacco products is prohibited in all vehicles – private or public vehicles - located on Georgia College property. This policy prohibits any use of advertising, sale, or free sampling of tobacco products on Georgia College property unless specifically stated for research purposes.
Compliance with this policy is the responsibility of all members of the Georgia College community. Faculty, administrators, management, staff and students are encouraged to assist in the implementation of this policy by respectfully informing tobacco users of this policy. Georgia College visitors are expected to comply with the tobacco and smoke-free environment.
Violation of Policy
Repeated violation of this policy may result in corrective action under the Student Code of Conduct, campus human resource policies or other applicable regulations or policies. Georgia College visitors refusing to comply may be asked to leave campus.
Tobacco-Free Campus FAQs
Why did Georgia College go Tobacco and Smoke-Free?
The University System of Georgia, Board of Regents, voted in March of 2014 that all forms of tobacco products on property owned, leased, rented or in the possession of the USG is prohibited effective Oct. 1, 2014. This affects all schools within the University System of Georgia including Georgia College.
When did the policy officially start?
The policy officially started for all University System of Georgia schools on Oct. 1, 2014.
Where can I smoke or use tobacco products?
You cannot use tobacco or smoke on campus. Review the campus maps for locations where tobacco may be used.
How is the policy enforced?
Compliance with this policy is the responsibility of all members of the Georgia College community. Faculty, administrators, management, staff and students are encouraged to assist by respectfully informing tobacco users of this policy. Georgia College visitors are expected to comply with the tobacco and smoke-free environment.
Does this policy apply to sanctioned events or sporting events off campus?
The tobacco and smoke-free campus policy applies only to university-owned, operated, leased, occupied or controlled property. Any events or activities elsewhere are governed by the policies at that location.
Are electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) allowed?
No. E-cigarettes are included in the list of unauthorized tobacco products; therefore, their usage on campus, at campus events located on campus and at satellite campuses is prohibited
What do I say to someone using tobacco on university property?
“Are you aware that Georgia College is a tobacco-free institution? That means smoking/tobacco is not permitted on campus.” If the individual asks, “Then where can I smoke?” direct them off campus by saying “If you would like to smoke, you will need to leave campus property.”
Isn’t tobacco use a personal choice?
Tobacco is a legal product for adults. The university is not requiring anyone to quit using tobacco. However, the university can develop policies for campus property. A tobacco and smoke-free policy does not prohibit tobacco use; it only limits where tobacco can be used.
Can I still carry tobacco products on me or store them in my car?
Yes. As long as you are not using tobacco products on Georgia College property, you may have them on your person or in your vehicle.
If my family or friends visit, do they have to abide by the policy?
Yes. The tobacco and smoke-free campus policy applies to all guests visiting campus as well as faculty, staff and students.
If I live at West Campus, can I smoke there?
The tobacco and smoke-free policy applies to all university property including West Campus.
What is considered a tobacco product?
“Tobacco Products” is defined as cigarettes, cigars, pipes, all forms of smokeless tobacco, clove cigarettes and any other smoking devices that use tobacco such as hookahs or simulate the use of tobacco such as electronic cigarettes.
Do you have additional questions?
GC Smoking Cessation Classes
Georgia College offers a Freedom From Smoking course free to GC students. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
For faculty and staff, The American Lung Association offers an online smoking cessation program called Freedom From Smoking Plus ($99.95 per individual, group rates available), and a Freedom From Smoking Helpline (free). For more information, call 1-800-LUNGUSA or go to: www.freedomfromsmoking.org.
The USG provides coverage for all over-the-counter items and prescription smoking cessation products. There is a zero $ co-pay for these smoking cessation products (pdf). All over-the-counter smoking cessation products must be physician-prescribed in order to have a zero $ co-pay.
Additional Cessation Resources
Benefits of the Tobacco-Free Policy at Georgia College
The harmful effects of tobacco use and second-hand smoke have long been supported by research. The American College Health Association (ACHA) “supports the findings of the Surgeon General that tobacco use in any form, active and/or passive is a significant health hazard. It is also recognized that environmental tobacco smoke has been classified as a Class-A carcinogen and that there is no safe level of exposure to environmental tobacco, a recognized toxic air contaminant.” Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable and premature death in the United States and is responsible for an estimated 440,000 American deaths each year. The ACHA has adopted a ‘No Tobacco Use’ policy and encourages colleges and universities to adopt the same policy.
A tobacco-free environment at Georgia College:
Results in a cleaner, healthier environment for all who live on, work at or visit the Georgia College Campus;
Prepares students to work in a tobacco-free environment as more and more businesses and workplaces are becoming tobacco-free;
Decreases the likelihood that non-tobacco users will become tobacco users;
Allows Georgia College students and employees to be positive role models for health to children and teens who attend programs and events on the campus;
Improves productivity and attendance to class or work;
Assists GC in reducing the risk of fire on campus and reducing maintenance costs of university buildings and grounds;
Aids in the recruitment of students. (Research indicates that most college students do not smoke, and many seek admission to tobacco-free campuses.)
Specific health benefits of being tobacco-free:
Based on data collected in the late 1990s, the US Centers for Disease Control estimated that adult male smokers lost an average of 13.2 years of life; and female smokers lost 14.5 years of life because of smoking.
Smoking has been proven to negatively affect every major organ in the human body. By living tobacco-free, your overall health is significantly better than that of smokers and tobacco users.
Smokeless tobacco use is associated with mouth, throat, stomach and pancreatic cancer and a precancerous condition in the mouth called leukoplakia (which can develop into cancer).
Smokeless tobacco use is associated with tooth decay, tooth loss, receding gums, gum disease and stained teeth.
The use of smokeless tobacco leads to nicotine addiction just like with smoking tobacco.
The tobacco-free policy at Georgia College does not require anyone to quit using tobacco, but use is prohibited on campus.
Enforcement Tips: It is up to each of us to help enforce the new tobacco-free policy. Not sure how to address the situation when you see someone using tobacco products on campus? Try these tips:
a. Politely ask the individual, “Are you aware that Georgia College is a tobacco-free institution? That means smoking/tobacco is not permitted on campus.”
b. If the individual asks, “Then where can I smoke?” direct them off campus by saying “If you would like to smoke, you will need to leave campus property.”
c. Remain calm and refrain from debating the pros/cons of the policy with statements such as, “I understand the inconvenience, but this is a Board of Regents policy that helps make our campus a healthier place.”
d. Direct individuals with questions to call 478-445-5148.
e. During your conversation, you may have the opportunity to provide information on the Georgia College’s cessation classes by saying, “Some people choose to smoke off campus while others are using the new policy as an opportunity to quit using tobacco.”
f. If at any time, an individual becomes verbally abusive or refused to comply, calmly walk away and notify Public Safety at 478-445-4400