Tobacco Free Campus FAQ

A tobacco-free policy sends a consistent health message by not implying that smokeless forms of tobacco are safe. There are no safe forms or levels of tobacco use. The policy promotes and protects the health of all campus members, users and non-users alike.

  • Smokeless tobacco contains at least 28 cancer-causing agents
  • Smokeless tobacco can lead to oral cancers, gum disease and increased nicotine addiction (U.S. Surgeon General). Snuff and Snus have been found to increase the risk of cancer, stroke and fatal cardiovascular disease (The International Agency for Research on Cancer).
  • While marketing of cigarettes is on the decline, marketing of smokeless products has risen 400% in the last 20 years (FTC). Marketing of smokeless tobacco products target youth by associating the product with sports and adventure activities, implying that use is part of a healthy lifestyle.

Yes, the policy prohibits all forms of tobacco and any nicotine delivery device that has not been approved by the FDA for cessation (On April 25, 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that e‐cigarettes will be regulated as tobacco products). National health agencies remain skeptical of the safety of these devices due to a lack of scientific data.

Until and unless the FDA approves a specific e‐cigarette for use as a tobacco cessation aid, these are not allowed on campus, which is consistent with national standards and guidelines.

Tobacco use is a legal product for adults. However, the university owns the campus property and can establish policies that protect the health of all campus members. A tobacco-free policy establishes where use can occur.

 Furthermore, according to the Public Health Institute, “no court has ever recognized smoking as a protected fundamental right nor has any court ever found smokers to be a protected class.” As long as tobacco regulation is created on the basis of a legitimate government objective, like public health or the environment, it will always be upheld as constitutional.

Smoking or the use of other tobacco products is prohibited on all university-owned campus grounds and university-owned vehicles. This includes but is not limited to all parking lots, sidewalks, landscaped areas and recreational areas; at lectures, conferences, meetings and social and cultural events held on school property or school grounds. Smoking is also prohibited in the interior of the building(s).

Initially, there will be an emphasis on education as the campus and community adapt to the policy. Violators will receive a friendly reminder, along with cessation information. Repeat or problem violations will be handled like any other conduct issue on campus: either through the Dean of Student’s office or the employee’s department.

A recent study of tobacco-free campuses found that most campus members respect the policy once they are informed. Serious enforcement problems are infrequent and are managed by campus officials

Everyone can take an active role in informing people that a tobacco-free policy is in effect. A large majority of SCSU students and employees support a tobacco-free environment, so it is appropriate for anyone to speak up. If there is an area where people are consistently violating the policy, please report this to Dr. Diane Morgenthaler, Director, SCSU Health and Wellness Center, (203) 392-6300.

Do not continue to speak to anyone who becomes angry or confrontational. Walk away and report the behavior to University Police.

Contact Emily Rosenthal, Director of Wellness, 203-392-7110.

We recommend that managers/supervisors remind employees of this policy and seek their cooperation with compliance.  Please consult with Human Resources prior to implementing disciplinary action.

It is important to emphasize that employees are not required to quit tobacco use, but that the employee must comply with the SCSU tobacco-free policy while on SCSU property. If the employee indicates an interest in quitting tobacco use, direct him or her to available resources.