The website for the tobacco-free policy launched last week, allowing viewers to receive information and provide feedback about the policy. The site, which members of the policy’s task force created, includes facts about Emory’s cessation resources, an explanation of the plans for enforcing the tobacco-free policy, an FAQ section and a tab where people can submit questions, comments and concerns.

The tobacco-free policy, if adopted, would ban the use of tobacco on Emory property beginning Fall 2011, without the use of punitive enforcement measures.

According to David Payne, senior director of communications and a member of the communications division of the task force, the primary goals of the website are to raise awareness about the anticipated policy change and to provide an avenue for constructive feedback.

“It provides a one-stop-shop for the most up to date information,” Payne said.

Theresa Milazzo, associate vice president for human resources and co-leader of the task force, explained the feedback regarding the policy has been mixed thus far.

“There has been some positive and some negative, but so far it has all been in the spirit of constructiveness,” Milazzo said.

As the policy evolves, Payne said the website will be updated to reflect that progress and stressed that the policy is not yet final.

This Friday, the task force, which is composed of seven different divisions, will review a draft of the proposed tobacco-free policy for the first time.

Though discussions of the draft are just beginning, Milazzo explained the task force is on track to make a recommendation to the University Senate about the tobacco-free campus policy toward the end of this semester as planned.

The policy will then be presented to the President’s Cabinet, and members of the Cabinet will address the recommendations at their discretion.

Payne noted that the task force is monitoring other universities that are currently working to implement tobacco-free policies in order to further develop plans for Emory’s initiative.

Some institutions that are in the midst of trying to start similar policies include Yale and the University of Pennsylvania.

Tobacco-free policies have been adopted at many locations nationwide, including Children’s Hospital of Atlanta and Washington University in St. Louis.

The task force will also host several focus groups to allow members of the Emory community to provide their thoughts on the tobacco-free policy.

Focus groups will be held in three sessions each day on April 14, 19 and 20. The sessions are scheduled at noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. and will be held in the Dobbs University Center (DUC).