Regents to discuss smoking ban at Ga. colleges

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — The board that governs Georgia’s public colleges and universities is considering banning tobacco from campuses statewide.

The Board of Regents is scheduled to discuss the proposed tobacco ban at its meeting Wednesday in Atlanta. The ban would prohibit faculty, students, staff and even spectators at sporting events from smoking or using smokeless tobacco in both indoor and outdoor parts of college campuses.

The Athens Banner-Herald reported Sunday that (http://bit.ly/1dIiyfb ) the policy would tighten anti-smoking policies at campuses such as the University of Georgia, which has prohibited lighting up within 35 feet of building entrances since 2011.

Smoking in public buildings is already prohibited by state law, and is banned from UGA’s Sanford Stadium and other athletic facilities.

If adopted by the Board of Regents, the tobacco ban would affect all 31 campuses in the University System of Georgia and would take effect on July 1.

The newspaper reported that other colleges in the area banned smoking on campus years ago.

Gainesville State College banned smoking in 2003, Piedmont College banned smoking in 2007 and Athens Technical College banned smoking in 2009.

Other institutions, including the Athens-Clarke County Library, local hospitals and the Clarke County School District have also adopted tougher anti-smoking and tobacco possession guidelines.

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Information from: Athens Banner-Herald, http://www.onlineathens.com

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