One year ago, Southern University became the first university system to pass a 100 percent tobacco-free campus policy. The tobacco-free policy, implemented Jan. 2 is effective on all five campuses.

SU’s policy goes above and beyond by making the campus grounds and events completely tobacco-free inside and out, including prohibiting distribution, advertising or gifting of any such products.

The Communities of Color Network, in collaboration with the SU system and the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living, are excited about this opportunity for the students, faculty and staff statewide to begin working towards a healthier and tobacco-free lifestyle. We look forward to being an integral part in the implementation phase of the tobacco-free policy by continuing to educate staff, faculty members and students on the SU campus on the benefits of being tobacco free.

The policy not only creates a healthy work and learning environment for employees and students by removing harmful secondhand smoke and tobacco use from the campus, but it is complemented by SU’s outreach efforts to help smokers quit. These efforts include access to numerous smoking cessation resources, workshops and referrals to cessations resources and behavioral counseling. The university’s efforts to help smokers quit underscores their deep commitment to the well-being of both faculty and students.

The new policy has served as a model for other colleges and universities in our state wanting to go tobacco-free. I applaud SU for making the health of its students, faculty and those in our community the top priority.

Linda Early Brown,

director, Communities of Color Network

Southern University Ag Center

New Orleans