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Louisiana Tech campus, facilities set to become tobacco-free - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Louisiana Tech campus, facilities set to become tobacco-free

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RUSTON, La -

Effective August 1, Louisiana Tech University's campus, instructional sites and facilities will become tobacco-free in accordance with Act 211 of the 2013 Louisiana State Legislative session which directs all public post-secondary educational institutions to develop smoke-free and/or tobacco-free policies for its campuses.

Developed by Louisiana Tech's Office of Environmental Health and Safety and approved by the university's Administrative and Planning Council, the new policy prohibits the use of all tobacco products, including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars and e-cigarettes as well as smokeless tobacco products at all Louisiana Tech locations and university-owned or leased facilities.

"Louisiana Tech and most other state universities reviewed tobacco use on their campuses and have developed a tobacco-free policy after consultation with student leaders, faculty representatives and administrators," said Don Braswell, director of environmental health and safety at Louisiana Tech. "We hope this policy will result in health improvements for students, faculty, employees and visitors, and a reduction in the litter on campus and associated cost of removal."

The new tobacco-free policy applies to all Louisiana Tech faculty, staff, students, visitors and contractors. Organizers and attendees of public events, such as conferences, meetings, public lectures, social events, cultural events and athletic competitions at university-owned facilities are also required to abide by the new tobacco-free policy.

Specifically, the policy will apply to areas such as the interiors of all university-owned or leased buildings, external university property and grounds including sidewalks, parking lots, recreational areas and green spaces, walkways, breezeways, patios, the inside of all state-owned vehicles, and all indoor and outdoor athletics venues and facilities.

The campus community and its visitors will be informed of the new tobacco-free policy through a variety of means including signs posted throughout the university grounds and facilities, campus-wide email communications, social media campaigns, online and printed resources such as catalogs and policy manuals, website postings and institutional trainings and programs.

Braswell and other Louisiana Tech officials stress that the success of this policy depends on the thoughtfulness, consideration and cooperation of both consumers and non-consumers of tobacco products, and that all members of the university community share in the responsibility for adhering to and enforcing the policy.

"We want for our employees, students and visitors to live long and healthy lives, and reducing the use of tobacco products is a major step in this direction," Braswell said. "We want the Louisiana Tech University campus to be a healthy environment free from smoke, litter and harmful and objectionable irritants."

Louisiana Tech's University Health Center and Counseling Center will offer a range of smoking cessation and support programs and resources for members of the university community who wish to quit smoking or using smokeless tobacco products.

For more information on Louisiana Tech's tobacco-free policy, contact the Office of Environmental Health and Safety at (318) 257-2120.

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