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4:03 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Georgia Board of Regents Passes System-Wide Campus Tobacco Ban

Students, faculty, staff, and visitors won’t be able to light up on public college campuses anymore. The Georgia Board of Regents unanimously approved a ban on all forms of tobacco Wednesday.

University system officials say more than half of Georgia’s colleges and universities already ban smoking. Regent Don Waters presented the system-wide proposal.

“The University System of Georgia is committed to providing healthy, comfortable, and productive learning environments and working environments for its students, faculty, staff, and visitors," he said. "In accordance with that commitment, the Board of Regents will establish a tobacco and smoke-free campus policy.”

The Georgia Board of Regents has adopted a tobacco and smoke free policy for college and university campuses.
The Georgia Board of Regents has adopted a tobacco and smoke free policy for college and university campuses.
Credit Katie King/WABE News

Schools will be responsible for enforcement. Regents spokesperson John Millsaps said the measure isn’t meant to be punitive.

“It just sends a strong message to the community that we’re serious about trying to provide an environment that really reflects where we are with what we know about tobacco use,” Millsaps said. 

The university system will offer tobacco cessation programs for those who want to quit. The ban takes effect October 1.