Armstrong To Become a Tobacco-Free Campus in 2012

(February 3, 2012) – Armstrong Atlantic State University announced earlier today that the university will officially become a tobacco-free campus as of August 2012.

The new policy – which bans cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco and other tobacco products as well as electronic cigarettes – will be implemented at the beginning of the Fall 2012 semester. In the past, Armstrong has allowed smoking in designated areas on campus.

“We're delighted to introduce this important new policy, which supports the health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff,” said Dr. Linda M. Bleicken, president of Armstrong Atlantic State University. “The decision to make Armstrong a tobacco-free campus was made after careful consideration and after listening to a range of voices in the university community.”

Armstrong is the 16th university in Georgia to go 100% tobacco-free and will join the American Lung Association's list of more than 250 schools that are already tobacco-free. Armstrong's new policy supports the City of Savannah Smoke-Free Air Ordinance of 2010, which is already in effect throughout the Savannah area.

The Student Government Association at Armstrong originally introduced the tobacco-free campus initiative in 2010. As a result, a Tobacco Control Task Force was formed in August 2011. Membership in the task force included a broad constituency of faculty, staff, students as well as community partners.

“This new policy reflects Armstrong's desire to provide a healthy learning environment for our students and a healthy environment for our faculty and staff,” said Tobacco Control Task Force chairman Sara Plaspohl, assistant professor of Health Sciences at Armstrong. “We're taking a leadership role in our community and creating a smoke-free environment that eliminates the presence of second-hand smoke and respects the health of everyone on our campus.”

To ensure that all voices on campus were heard, the Task Force conducted an electronic survey allowing faculty, staff and students to provide opinions regarding current tobacco policies. The Task Force also received letters of support from organizations on and off campus.

Armstrong will institute a campus-wide education program to raise awareness about the new tobacco-free policy and to encourage tobacco cessation initiatives.

For more information, please visit the Tobacco-Free Campus website.