Beginning August 1, 2014, Louisiana Tech's campuses, instructional sites and facilities will become tobacco-free, falling in line with other area colleges and universities.

Act 211 of the 2013 Louisiana State Legislative session directed all public post-secondary educational institututions to develop smoke-free and/or tobacco-free policies for its campuses.

The new tech policy prohibits the use of all tobacco products, including -- but not limited to -- cigarettes, cigars and e-cigarettes, as well as smokeless tobacco products at all the university's locations.

"Louisiana Tech and most other state universities reviewed tobacco use on their campuses and have developed a tobacco-free policy after consultation with student leaders, faculty representatives and administrators,” said Tech Environmental Health and Safety Director Don Braswell in a news release. "We hope this policy will result in health improvements for students, faculty, employees and visitors, and a reduction in the litter on campus and associated cost of removal."

The new tobacco-free policy applies to all Louisiana Tech faculty, staff, students, visitors and contractors. Organizers and attendees of public events, such as conferences, meetings, public lectures, social events, cultural events and athletic competitions at university-owned facilities are also required to abide by the new tobacco-free policy.

"We want for our employees, students and visitors to live long and healthy lives, and reducing the use of tobacco products is a major step in this direction," Braswell said. "We want the Louisiana Tech University campus to be a healthy environment free from smoke, litter and harmful and objectionable irritants."

Louisiana Tech’s University Health Center and Counseling Center will offer a range of smoking cessation and support programs and resources for members of the campus community who wish to quit smoking or using smokeless tobacco products.

For more information on Louisiana Tech’s tobacco-free policy, contact the Office of Environmental Health and Safety at (318) 257-2120.