GMC News

GMC to Go Smoke-Free

GMC to go smoke-free

By Pam Beer
Bulletin Editor

The Old Capitol Square campus of Georgia Military College will be a tobacco-free zone effective August 1, according to dean of students LTC. Patrick Beer. Visitors who refuse to comply will be escorted off campus and, if necessary, barred from returning.

“Kudos have to go to Jim Lebrun, the high school principal, because he’s the one who brought this to a head,” said Beer. Lebrun often had parents visiting on campus, and Beer said that visitors “had to fight their way through clouds of cigarette smoke.”

Although complaints from parents played a role, Beer said the decision to go smoke-free was primarily for the health of the middle- and high-school students.

“Environmental tobacco smoke, which people call second-hand smoke, has been classified by the Centers for Disease Control as a Class A carcinogen in the same category as asbestos,” he said.

A committee was formed to study the issue and to draft the tobacco-free policy, which includes smokeless tobacco as well. Employees and students of both the high school and the college, both smokers and non, sat on the committee.

The policy will apply to GMC property in the area bounded by Greene, Elbert, Franklin and Wayne streets, plus the primary entrances to other buildings, the vicinity of the Cordele Events Center, and sporting events and parades. Beer said an announcer will make the announcement that the events are tobacco free.

“Some people have said that we shouldn’t have a rule that you can’t enforce,” Beer said, noting that the implementation of the policy has been called into question. “But I submit that one definition of good character is willing compliance with the unenforceable.”

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