Emory University implemented a new no smoking policy on its campus to help ring in the new year. The ban, which took effect Jan. 1, goes beyond a basic no-smoking policy and even bans smoking in privately owned vehicles. That means that students, faculty and visitors to either the university or an Emory Healthcare facility will not be able to smoke in their own vehicles.


Emory University is now among the more than 580 colleges and 2,800 health care systems that have instituted a no-smoking policy. The decision to implement such a strict ban is explained in an Emory University press release:


“The university made the policy change because tobacco is the only legally regulated substance that even if used in moderation is proven to be harmful to health. Secondhand smoke is also known to cause disease; data shows that even those exposed to secondhand smoke have higher risk of illnesses related to tobacco use, including increased mortality.”


Personally, I have to applaud Emory University administration for expanding the ban to private vehicles. On a recent visit to a local hospital, which has a no-smoking policy that doesn’t extend to vehicles, my asthmatic daughter and I were greeted with a cloud of second hand smoke as we passed by a vehicle filled with employees on a break. If we were visiting a facility at Atlanta’s Emory Healthcare system we’d have been able to make the trek from our vehicle to the doctor without an assault on our respiratory systems.


What do you think? Is banning smoking in personal vehicles located on Emory property going too far or do you support Emory’s decision?


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