Emory resolves to be smoke-free

smoke free

Beginning January 2012, Emory will join the more than 450 colleges and universities nationwide that are 100% smoke-free.

The new tobacco-free campus policy is based on the recommendations of a task force created by Emory President James Wagner last spring. Faculty, staff, and student groups have endorsed this policy, along with Emory leaders, including James Curran, dean of the RSPH, and Jeffrey Koplan, director of the Emory Global Health Institute.

In a message on Emory’s YouTube channel, Curran advocates education to prevent tobacco use, cessation programs, and policies that are fair to smokers but also effective in reducing health risks in the community and society.

“Smoking is the leading cause of death that is preventable in the United States and soon in the world,” he says. “It causes cancer, heart disease, and lung disease and makes asthma worse for children who are exposed to secondhand smoke. With patience and persistence, we can reduce this public health problem greatly.”

Before joining Emory, Koplan spent his career at the CDC, where he oversaw tobacco control activities before becoming the agency’s director.

“It’s a tough thing to do and an important thing to do,” says Koplan of the new tobacco-free policy in his video message. “Emory needs to set the bar on what constitutes good behavior on campus and make the environment a better place to work and live in.”

Since 2001, the Rollins-based Tobacco Technical Assistance Consortium (TTAC) has worked with states and communities to protect the public from smoking. In 2009, the Global Health Institute and TTAC joined with health leaders and cities in China to develop strategies for tobacco control. The China project is supported by a major grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


Web Connection: To hear James Curran and Jeffrey Koplan advocate for a tobacco-free Emory campus, visit bit.ly/emorytobaccofree.


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