As a tobacco user, don’t I have protected rights to smoke?
Courts have ruled that where smoker and non-smokers’ rights conflict, the right of the nonsmoker prevails. Smoking is not a protected activity under the U.S. or state constitutions, and smokers are not a protected class. See more: The Tobacco Control Legal Consortium.
How can I learn more about the boundaries of university grounds?
A map of the university’s campuses boundaries is here. The tobacco and vaping ban does apply to all university owned or controlled properties.
What are the prohibited items under the policy?
All tobacco products as well as vaping, regardless of whether or not the vape contains nicotine, are prohibited.
- Cigarettes and cigars – including self-rolled
- Pipes, hookas and water pipes
- Electronic cigarettes
- Vape pens
- Snus, snuff, chew and other smokeless tobacco
The policy bans all tobacco use, including chewing, dipping or any other use, as well as smoking, which refers smoking tobacco or vaping, regardless of the contents of the vape. This also includes carrying these items in your hand when they are lit, because smoke or vape diffuses into the air.
How is the policy enforced?
Anyone observing a violation of this policy may approach the person and politely remind them that SU is tobacco-free. An online form is available for violation reporting, with follow up by University staff. Students and employees are subject to corrective actions in accordance with the established policies and procedures of the university. Noncompliance by visitors and contractors will be referred to those hosting the visitor or to the contractor’s company.
If I cannot use tobacco on campus, where can I use it during the day?
There are no designated smoking areas on university owned or controlled property. Offering smoking areas does not support a healthy environment. Concentrating smoke to a limited area only increases the health-related risks to those in or near the designated areas.
The university does recognize the challenges that this presents to those who regularly use tobacco. While the University does not require individuals to quit, students and employees can access assistance. Check out the list of resources available to help those who wish to quit. In addition, individuals may want to consider short-term use of patches, gum, and other tools while on university property to help curb cravings.
I vape or use e-cigarettes, but don’t use nicotine. Can I still vape on campus?
No, all use of vapes or e-cigarettes are prohibited under university policy. Vapes and e-cigarettes are not a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes and are not an FDA-approved method of quitting tobacco use. The smoke or cloud these items emit can contain potentially harmful substances, including nicotine, heavy metals like lead, volatile organic compounds and cancer-causing agents. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Won’t this new policy increase littering around the perimeter of campus?
The university will place a number of receptacles around the perimeter of main campus spring 2020 so that those entering campus by foot, bike or skateboard can dispose of their tobacco products. It is the university’s expectation that these items won’t be disposed of on campus or be a source of litter. Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world, including the United States.
In what ways are students, employees, and visitors being made aware of the policy change?
Over the course of the Spring 2020 semester, there will be a series of communications informing students, employees and visitors about the policy change. This includes signs, email, posters, table cards, digital screens, information cards for use in offices and at events. It also includes education for campus and college communicators and social media communicators to share the message.