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FAQs

Updated January 2015

When did Emory become a tobacco free campus?

Emory’s Tobacco Free Policy went into effect on January 1, 2012, prohibiting smoking and tobacco use on Emory University and Emory Healthcare properties.


Why did Emory decide to become a tobacco free campus?

In 2010, University President Jim Wagner appointed a Task Force to explore the feasibility of Emory becoming a tobacco free institution. The Task Force conducted campus wide focus groups and researched the tobacco policies at other universities.  Feedback was also collected from various Emory stakeholder groups. Both the University Senate and the President’s Cabinet approved the transition to a tobacco free Emory effective January 1, 2012.

The use of tobacco is one of the leading preventable health risks worldwide.  Allowing the use of tobacco on Emory’s campus runs counter to our knowledge of the significant health risks, especially in light of Emory’s role as an institution of higher education and as a healthcare provider and educator. Further, Emory promotes a culture of health and wellness (Healthy Emory) and the use of tobacco is inconsistent with this culture.


What types of tobacco are prohibited?

All types of tobacco are prohibited as part of the Tobacco Free Environment Policy (Policy 4.113), including, but not limited to: cigarettes, cigars, pipes, all forms of smokeless tobacco, clove cigarettes and any other smoking devices that use tobacco such as hookahs. Ecigarettes are also included in the ban.


What area is covered by the tobacco free policy?

Emory’s tobacco free policy applies to all Emory University and Emory Healthcare properties (including personal vehicles while on Emory property). Tobacco is also prohibited at Emory-sponsored or sanctioned events.


Does this mean that students who smoke are not welcome to apply for admission at Emory?

No. We welcome all students to Emory, but students applying for admission need to be aware that Emory has a tobacco free policy in place. It is one of many policies that those who attend Emory are expected to abide by. 


Does Emory accept job applications from smokers?

Emory University does not currently prohibit smokers from applying for jobs, however, just like prospective students, all prospective employees need to be aware of the tobacco free policy and must abide by the policy while on campus. As of May 1, 2013, Emory Healthcare no longer hires tobacco users.


What is Emory currently doing to assist those who smoke and want to quit?

Emory is committed to supporting the health and wellness of all members of the Emory community and offers numerous resources for those who need help quitting tobacco.  Several tobacco cessation programs are currently offered free of charge to students, faculty, staff and spouses/same sex domestic partners of Emory employees. Tobacco cessation drugs are also available free of charge as Tier Zero on the Emory-sponsored medical plan. For a complete list of Emory’s tobacco cessation resources, go to: www.tobaccofree.emory.edu/cessation/index.html.


How is the tobacco free policy enforced?

Since the policy is a community health initiative, ultimately the entire Emory community is responsible for its enforcement.  Emory strives for voluntary compliance with limited disciplinary actions. 

One way to aid enforcement is to provide many options for cessation and support for those who choose to stop using tobacco. Sample scripts and videos on the tobacco free website (www.tobaccofree.emory.edu) are designed to help Emory community members with approaching smokers. Small, tobacco free handout cards are also available and provide a non-confrontational way to approach tobacco users. The cards include a list of tobacco cessation resources available to faculty, staff, students and visitors.


Emory has been tobacco free for three years, why do people continue to smoke on campus and what is being done about it?

Emory recognizes that we have not achieved 100% compliance.  We do occasionally receive complaints regarding abuse of the policy; we want to address these complaints and the policy violations. Starting in the spring of 2015, Human Resources, Campus Life and Campus Services will work together to manage compliance issues as they arise. Several strategies are being employed to eliminate abuse, including additional signage to increase awareness and expanded patrols by student and staff tobacco-use monitors.  The patrols will approach people smoking on campus, remind them of the policy and discuss the various cessation resources that are available. 


Why don’t we have more active enforcement of this policy through the Emory Police Department (EPD) or other means?

The tobacco free policy is not the kind of policy or behavior that requires the involvement of the Emory Police.  The role of the EPD is to enforce local, state, and federal laws; there is no such law that prohibits tobacco use.  Therefore, it is not appropriate for the EPD to be the expected enforcer of this policy. As with all University policies, the University community must enforce its policies. 

Positive and encouraging reminders that we as a community can give our peers are more powerful than police reminders or citations.


Will Emory issue fines or tickets for smoking on campus?

Emory does not currently have plans to issue fines or tickets and will continue to use positive enforcement methods.  Violation of any Emory policy, however, is a disciplinary matter for both students and employees and standard disciplinary procedures would apply.


What should I do if I see someone smoking on campus?

If you notice someone smoking on campus, kindly let them know of our policy.  Please be sure to treat people with respect and professionalism as visitors to our campus may not be aware of the policy.  In most cases, if someone smoking is asked to stop, they will. If someone becomes hostile or angry upon being approached, do not escalate the situation; simply walk away.

If you notice a pattern of smoking (i.e. someone continuing to smoke in a tobacco free area), you can anonymously report this activity online at: http://apps.hr.emory.edu/TobaccoFree. Information collected online will be used to aid compliance efforts.