Students found violating Tobacco 21 law could face university disciplinary action

The Student Code of Conduct states, "For incidents occurring off campus, the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee will determine if the interests of the University are affected and thus the incident falls under the scope of this Code."

Abby Fuller

STATESBORO — Congress approved legislation that would raise the legal minimum age for purchasing all tobacco products, including vaping products, from 18 to 21 in Dec. 2019.

Prior to the federal legislation, 16 states had already passed legislation raising the minimum purchasing age to 21. Georgia was not one of these states.

Georgia Southern University is a smoke-free campus, so tobacco and vaping products are already prohibited on campus by the Code of Student Conduct.

Because the Office of Student Conduct receives reports for off-campus incidents, students found to be violating the Tobacco 21 law off-campus could still face disciplinary action on campus as a result.

“If a student is caught off campus violating the law or any policy as outlined in the Code of Student Conduct, they are subject to the Conduct Process,” Zwisel Gandia, the director of student conduct, said. “In addition, the code is updated every year, and changes in law can impact these updates.”

The federal legislation was passed in response to the outbreak of illnesses in 2019 that have been connected to vaping. As of Jan. 14, there have been 60 vaping-related deaths confirmed in 27 states, according to the CDC.

Abby Fuller, The George-Anne News Reporter, [email protected]