Board of Regents passes tobacco ban

The Board of Regents (BOR) on Wednesday approved the Tobacco and Smoke-Free Campus policy, effectively banning all tobacco products from University System of Georgia (USG) campuses and all other properties owned by USG.

The ban would prevent the sale, use and advertisement of all tobacco products—including cigarettes, cigars, hookahs, smokeless tobacco products and e-cigarettes—by students, employees or visitors on USG owned property. The policy will take effect Oct. 1 of this year.

“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 in a press release.

According to the press release, the enforcement will be the responsibility of university presidents but also noted that the policy is “a shared community responsibility.” The release also stated that “violations of the policy will be handled under the Student Code of Conduct or campus human resource policies,” and that “visitors refusing to comply with the policy may be asked to leave campus.”

The ban, proposed in January to the Personnel and Benefits Committee of the BOR, was the subject of much debate at Tech. A survey conducted by the Student Government Association (SGA) found that 47.43 percent of students supported the policy while 48.27 opposed it.