Emory University has recently made a big decision after considering it for the past several years: it has decided to not allow smoking on campus.
Erin Long, a spokeswoman for Emory’s human resources department, said the university decided to join the more than 600 smoke-free campuses nationally after a focus group was formed in 2010.
“We held a lot of community meetings and launched a website for feedback, and in the summer of 2010 the University Senate and the Presidents’ Cabinet went ahead and adopted the recommendation for Emory to become a smoke-free campus,” Long said.
On Jan. 3, Emory officially became smoke-free. Long said to help smokers transition there will be 14 areas located throughout the campus where students, teachers, staff and visitors can smoke. However, come August there will be nowhere where smoking is allowed.
“One of the results that came out of the feedback was that smokers needed more time to quit so the decision was made to institute these temporary zones,” Long said.
According to Long, Emory is also offering students, teachers, staff and spouses of employees, access to free smoking cessation programs and support groups.
Long said the university is telling those who see smokers on campus to “politely and respectfully” notify the person smoking that the campus is now smoke-free and encourage them to use one of the designated smoking areas.
“Emory being a healthcare institution and a school of public health, it just seems like the right thing to do,” Long said of the move to become smoke-free. “We’re really trying to get the word out to our visitors.”