ATLANTA (AP) — The board governing Georgia's public colleges and universities has approved a system-wide proposal to ban the use of all forms of tobacco products.
The University System of Georgia Board of Regents approved the ban Wednesday and the policy is expected to go into effect on Oct. 1, said University System of Georgia spokesman John Millsaps.
The tobacco ban applies to all employees, students, contractors and visitors on all property owned, leased rented or in the possession of the University System of Georgia, officials said in a statement.
The ban will also apply to events being hosted by institutions within the system, and exceptions to the policy could be made for research purposes, officials said.
"Our aim with this policy is to preserve and improve the health, comfort and environment of employees and any persons occupying USG facilities," Marion Fedrick, the University System's vice chancellor for human resources, said in a statement.
Fedrick added that officials feel a responsibility to promote health and well-being on University System of Georgia property. The University System of Georgia is also planning to provide information on tobacco cessation for those looking for help.
Enforcement of the tobacco ban will be left up to the presidents of each institution within the system, and visitors who don't comply with the policy may be asked to leave campus, officials said.
The Georgia Public Library Service and the Georgia Archives are also included in a list of University System of Georgia institutions.