Joining a sweeping movement across the country, Brenau University has launched an initiative to make all five of its campuses 100-percent smoke free.
University officials said in a press statement Brenau recently received a grant from Truth Initiative to assist with the effort.
"We are excited about this chance to learn how to create a safer, healthier and more productive environment for not only our students and employees but for the entire community," said Betty Daniels, associate professor of nursing and campus coordinator for the initiative at Brenau. "This is about our entire community, all five of our campuses. I love to see Brenau take leadership roles in promoting healthier environments in our spheres of influence."
Brenau plans to form a campus task force that will assess tobacco use behaviors and attitudes, identify a treatment plan for current smokers and develop a smoke- or tobacco-free policy. Two student leaders will also develop and lead educational efforts to build a movement to become a tobacco-free campus.
The plan should take about 16 months to fully implement.
A 100-percent tobacco-free policy prohibits the use of any tobacco product, such as cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, small cigars, pipes, hookah, smokeless tobacco, e-cigarettes and other smokeless products.
Brenau will join more than 2,342 higher education institutions in the United States that have gone smoke- or tobacco-free, according to the Truth Initiative.
According to the Initiative, 99 percent of all smokers start smoking before the age of 26, making college campuses a critical part in the fight against tobacco use. Since 2015, the Truth Initiative Tobacco-Free College Program, in partnership with CVS Health, has awarded more than $1.8 million in funding to 154 colleges and universities to prevent young adults from starting tobacco use.
Brenau University has campuses in Gainesville, Norcross, Fairburn, Augusta and Jacksonville, Fla.