Q Why did the Augusta University Enterprise become a Tobacco Free Campus?
A As Georgia's only health sciences university and the CSRA's only academic medical center, our mission is to improve health and reduce the burden of illness in society. By undertaking this initiative, Augusta University and its related entities join numerous educational and health care facilities across the state and nation in protecting our employees, patients and visitors from exposure to secondhand smoke. This is an important step in fulfilling our role as healthcare leader in Georgia.
Q When does the Tobacco-Free Campus Policy start?
A August 1, 2013 for Summerville and Forest Hills campuses. The Health Sciences Campus went Tobacco Free on November 15, 2007.
Q Whom does this policy affect?
A Faculty, employees, students, contractors, vendors, patients and campus visitors and all others must abide by the policy.
Q Do employees have to quit smoking or using other forms of tobacco?A No. The policy stipulates that no one can use tobacco products at any time on Augusta University property (even in personal vehicles). Employees are not required to stop using tobacco, but may not use it on campus. Employees are encouraged quit using tobacco. Non-tobacco users are eligible to receive a health benefit reduction.
Q How will the new policy be enforced?
A Enforcing our tobacco-free campus is our shared, community responsibility. This means all students, faculty, and staff share in the responsibility to help keep our campus tobacco-free. Signage to help inform our campus community and visitors has been placed throughout campus. Augusta University Enterprise employees who violate the policy will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action by their organization, up to and including dismissal.
Q Can I smoke in my privately owned vehicle?
A Not on Augusta University property. Parking lots and decks owned by the Augusta University Enterprise are included in the policy.
Q Who developed the policy?
A In 2007, a task force of more than 40 representatives of the Georgia Health Sciences University, GHSU Health Inc., and Physicians Practice Group gathered benchmarking information and surveyed on-campus audiences, patients and visitors before writing the policy, which was approved by the GHSU Enterprise leadership. As of January 9, 2013, the policy was adopted for the Summerville/Forest Hills campuses and implemented on these campuses August 1, 2013.
Q Where can I go for help to fight my tobacco addiction?
A The Augusta University Cancer Center currently offers free tobacco cessation help for Augusta University students, faculty and staff. Call 706-721-6744 to schedule your initial visit and health assessment or register on-line at www.gru.org (click on “Request Appointment.”) For more information and for help quitting, click on the cessation services link on this Web site.