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Summerville campus, dean, smokefree

Tuesday, Aug 27, 2013 5:10 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013 3:01 PM
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It was a different time when Marc Miller was going to Augusta College.

“Thirty years ago when I was a student here, I could smoke in the library,” said Miller, now the dean of the Hull College of Business at what is now Georgia Regents University. He quit smoking almost four years ago after many attempts, and now so has the Summerville campus around him.

The campus went tobacco-free at the beginning of this month, but to reinforce that message and provide more education the university is holding a series of community forums, beginning with Miller and his story Thursday. Tobacco-free means that smokeless tobacco use and electronic cigarettes are also banned, said Christine O’Meara, the director of cancer information and awareness at the GRU Cancer Center, who leads the community education and outreach work group to help implement the ban. The Health Sciences campus of GRU was already tobacco-free.

The group held one community forum in March and is planning others “to educate not only the college campus but Augusta at large about the health and social consequences of tobacco use,” O’Meara said.

The Augusta Commission voted down a tougher smoking ordinance last year, but Mayor Pro Tem Corey Johnson has said he plans to reintroduce one later this year. That would help tremendously, O’Meara said.

“It’s really raising the level of consciousness about a healthy work environment and everybody’s right to breathe tobacco-free air,” she said.

Miller, who smoked for at least 25 years, said that he would quit every time he crushed out a cigarette and then take the habit back up the next time he lit up. He grew tired of the constant coughing, though, and “couldn’t walk 18 holes of golf without it just killing me.”

Finally, he said, “I just knew it was now or never.”

It seemed right to Miller that the institution should ban tobacco use.

“I think we’re a state-funded institution, and part of our mission is to educate the body, mind and spirit of an individual,” he said. “I think that it is appropriate for us to say smoking is a public health problem and it is not good for you.”

So far, Miller said, he has been pleasantly surprised to see no one violating the policy as he walks around campus. There is no fine, and enforcement will be “community enforcement,” O’Meara said, “meaning that it is up to each of us to help enforce the policy of a tobacco-free campus.”

Community forums

As part of its efforts to educate people about tobacco and the new status of the Summerville campus as tobacco-free, Georgia Regents University is sponsoring a series of community forums:

• Thursday, Why I Quit, Marc Miller, dean of the Hull College of Business at GRU, 6 p.m., Room 170 of University Hall

• Sept. 19: No Spit Sherlock: Smoking Kills, Dr. Scott DeRossi, College of Dental Medicine at GRU, 6 p.m., Room 170 University Hall

• Oct. 8: Health fair, Jaguar Student Activities Center Ballroom, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Comments (11) Add comment
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thauch12
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thauch12 08/27/13 - 07:26 pm
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1
"Hey you, stop smoking or

"Hey you, stop smoking or else...I'll tell you to stop smoking again." These "community enforcement" bans are an absolute joke. It makes a cute social statement but ultimately does little if anything to solve the problem.

soldout
1280
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soldout 08/28/13 - 03:20 am
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3
the new cigarette

Wine is the new cigarette. We watch the old movies with everyone smoking and doctors even promoting it and we say "what were they thinking?" Alcohol, which is promoted everywhere, is costing society lives, families and much money. It is raising breast cancer levels by 15% or more and there are no alcohol free roads. Probably 30 years from now, as we see movies from today with the alcohol dependent folks holding their glass of wine, we will say "what were their thinking?" And by the way, prohibition worked quite well if you check the numbers instead watching a crime movie. Satan is out to kill and destroy folks and it doesn't matter to him if it is a cigarette or alcohol. We foolishly warn our kids about drugs while we pop pills like their were popcorn for every made up disease their advertise on TV and keep our home bar well stocked. Then we wonder why our warning to our children fail. Whether you pick a sin to promote or pick one for society to hate, it will still hurt you.

Riverman1
82167
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Riverman1 08/28/13 - 06:43 am
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2
Electronic Cigs

Why are electronic cigs banned? I have watched someone using one and he can set it to any concentration of tobacco or zero. It seems a great way to get people to quit. If this is simply a voluntary thing why not say they can "smoke" the electronic cigs at a zero tobacco setting? Are appearances more important than facts and results?

Riverman1
82167
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Riverman1 08/28/13 - 06:44 am
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Frog Hollow Campus?

I'm curious what the policy is on the Frog Hollow campus?

ragingbull
945
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ragingbull 08/28/13 - 07:29 am
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The Frog Hollow Campus does

The Frog Hollow Campus does not yet have a policy against individually rolled smoking!

floridasun
310
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floridasun 08/28/13 - 07:56 am
1
2
This is a Good Move

Emory University's campus in Atlanta is smoke free.
I do not like to smell others second hand smoke so I applaud GRU for this
Hope they implement on the health sciences campus too

noway
201
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noway 08/28/13 - 10:13 am
1
0
good!

Now if only our commissioners could catch up with the times and ban smoking in public places!! Most cities are smoke-free and Augusta just looks old and backwards since we won't get with the times.

Tom Corwin
9196
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Tom Corwin 08/28/13 - 10:14 am
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Riverman, Raging Bull

You might have missed this in the story: "The Health Sciences campus of GRU was already tobacco-free." I assume that's what you mean by Frog Hollow. If you are including University Hospital in that remark, which I think is really more Frog Hollow than GRU, it also bans smoking on its campus.

Sweet son
10039
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Sweet son 08/28/13 - 11:34 am
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Smoking Policy at GRU Medical

This policy has been in effect for a long time. I know of at least one person who has freedom from his work enough that he gets in his personal truck and drives off campus to smoke. LOL!

In the early days of this policy folks on the West side of the campus would stroll over into Gilbert Manor and smoke.

Riverman1
82167
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Riverman1 08/28/13 - 02:41 pm
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Thanks, Tom. I missed it.

Thanks, Tom. I missed it. University Hospital is not part of MCG as we all know. Still I think the logical way to refer to the medical branch of GRU is the Frog Hollow Campus if the old ASU is to be referred to as the Summerville Campus. Of course, Azziz won't like it. That's a given.

My contention is that at least part of MCG is located in the old Frog Hollow. Here is an excerpt from an old Chronicle story:

"Urban renewal, the last phase of Frog Hollow's existence, began in the 1950s. Local officials called it the University Hospital Project. Purchase of the land gave the Richmond County Hospital Authority a convenient site to build University Hospital and provided property for some Medical College of Georgia buildings and what today is the Downtown Division of Augusta's Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers."
http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/1999/05/07/met_260823.shtml

Bodhisattva
5968
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Bodhisattva 08/30/13 - 08:03 am
0
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Ban e-cigarettes? The

Ban e-cigarettes? The anti-smoking Nazis strike again. Since a lot of people use e-cigarettes as a transition to stop smoking, it seems counterintuitive. Smokeless tobacco too? What about nicotine inhalers? Patches? Gum? Are you allowed the poisonous active ingredient, just not the tobacco?

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