Georgetown announced in a schoolwide email on April 28 that the university will become smoke-free starting on August 15, 2020. This change was made after years of discourse and to “maintain a safe and healthy environment at Georgetown University for our students, faculty, staff, visitors and contractors,” according to the official university announcement.
The move comes two and half years after Georgetown students first passed a smoke-free referendum proposal. Those who voted yes on the referendum won by about 3%. At the time, the university hoped to implement the policy by the 2017-2018 school year.
Upon the policy’s implementation, Georgetown will join at least 2,356 other 100% smoke-free campus sites, according to the American Nonsmoker’s Rights Foundation. Beginning in 2020, smoking and any other form of tobacco use will not be allowed on university owned or leased buildings, grounds, and vehicles.
The policy will apply to all Georgetown students, faculty, staff, visitors, and contractors. Students found repeatedly disobeying the policy will be in violation of the university Code of Student Conduct. Faculty and staff violations will be handled by the normal university process.
Many students support the new policy, but some hope this is not the final answer. “I support it,” Dennis Kim (SFS ’22) said. “But I think there still should be a smoking zone or smoking area. I think that would be a better alternative, like one or two areas around campus.”
In their email, the university offered tobacco and smoking cessation resources for affected students in the transition year. For further information on the change, students are advised to reach out to Charles DeSantis, chief benefits officer.