Southern University Ag Center’s CoC led charge to implement the tobacco-free policy
Baton Rouge, La. – The Southern University Ag Center’s Communities of Color Network (CoC), led the charge in Louisiana as the Southern University System became the first University System to establish a 100% Tobacco-Free Policy. CoC, under the leadership of its director, Linda Early Brown, initiated this policy effort.
The CoC is a statewide entity that educates communities of color about the dangers of tobacco use, secondhand smoke exposure and the availability of smoking cessation resources. The network’s regional coordinators, Hendrix Broussard; Urina Holt; LaTonya Owens and Frankie Poland, continue to lead the way in this endeavor statewide through educational workshops. The program is funded via a grant with the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living.
In October 2012, CoC recommended the 100% Tobacco-Free Policy to the Southern University System (SUS) Board of Supervisors and it was approved with an effective date of January, 2013. This was approximately a year prior to the state mandate that all Louisiana colleges and universities adopt a similar tobacco policy effective August 1, 2014.
According to the policy, the use of tobacco products on any Southern University campus is prohibited by students, staff, faculty or visitors in campus buildings, facilities, or property owned or leased by the Southern University System and outside areas of the campus where non-smokers cannot avoid exposure to smoke; on campus grounds, facilities, or vehicles that are the property of the campus; and at lectures, conferences, meeting, and social and cultural events held on school property or school grounds. Further, the sale or free distribution of tobacco products, including merchandise on campus or at school events is prohibited.
The Communities of Color Network extends congratulations to all SU Ag Center employees and thanks them for their continued efforts in assisting with the implementation of the 100% Tobacco-Free System Policy and encourages them to continue their efforts in making the System a place to live, learn, work, and play where healthier air for all is the norm.