Ohio University

skip to main content

Smoke and Tobacco-Free Campus Philosophy

Ohio University supports a smoke and tobacco-free campus as a wellness initiative to protect the health of students, faculty, staff and guests in keeping with the recommendation of the Ohio Board of Regents in July 2012.  Becoming a tobacco-free campus encourages respect for others and respect for the environment.

Along with The American College Health Association (ACHA), Ohio University also “acknowledges and supports the findings of the Surgeon General that tobacco use in any form, active and/or passive, is a significant health hazard….further recognizes that environmental tobacco smoke has been classified as a Class-A carcinogen and that there is no safe level of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, a recognized toxic air contaminant” (Nov. 2011, ACHA Position Statement ).

A smoke and tobacco-free OHIO campus encourages a green and clean environment, prepares our students for other tobacco-free environments in their future, and can be a source of OHIO pride in supporting a major wellness initiative. (The current Smoking Policy will be revised and made effective August 1, 2015.)

Definition

Ohio University will provide a smoke and tobacco-free environment for all members of the University community. This includes employees, students, visitors, volunteers, patients, and customers. For purpose of this policy, the university is defined as facilities, property and grounds used to carry out the mission of the university.

The use of tobacco or smoking products is defined as all nicotine, tobacco-derived or containing products, and plant based products including, but not limited to, cigarettes (e.g., clove, bidis, kreteks), electronic cigarettes, cigars and cigarillos, hookah-smoked products, and oral tobacco (spit and spit less, smokeless, chew, snuff).

Scope of Plan

The physical location of a smoke and tobacco-free campus is defined as facilities, property and grounds used to carry out the mission of the university. This will also extend to sidewalks adjacent to university buildings and grounds in keeping with the city policy of property owners’ responsibility for sidewalks. Smoking and tobacco use in personal vehicles on university property will not be allowed.

Exceptions

1) FDA approved nicotine replacement therapy will be allowed (e.g., patches, gum, inhalers, and lozenges).

2) Tobacco use may be permitted for controlled research, educational, clinical, or religious ceremonial purposes with prior approval of the dean or director responsible for the facility.

Designated Smoking and Tobacco Use Areas

After much consideration from reviewing input from tobacco users, survey results, and benchmarked tobacco-free institutions, there will be NO designated smoking/tobacco use areas.

E-Cigarettes*

Electronic cigarettes will NOT be allowed for the following reasons:

1) There is a lack of conclusive scientific research on e-cigarettes. Therefore, there is no way of knowing whether e-cigarettes are safe and the potential for harm these consumer products may cause. Given this lack of research, a majority of universities nationwide include e-cigarettes in the definition of tobacco products.

2) Permitting e-cigarettes will inevitably lead to confusion and difficulty in enforcement of a ban on cigarettes given the similarity in appearance between traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes.

3) E-cigarettes are being used to smoke illegal drugs such as marijuana.

*The use of e-cigarettes will be revisited should they receive FDA approval.

Compliance

Community-Wide Accountability: Each member of the university community will be responsible for respectfully informing or reminding others of the smoke/ tobacco-free policy if coming upon someone smoking or using tobacco. Effective approaches for talking with individuals who smoke or use tobacco are provided on the smoke/tobacco-free website resources page.

Employees: Supervisors are encouraged to emphasize the wellness aspects of the policy and ask if the employee is interested in any assistance adapting to the policy or interested in cessation resources.

Students: When talking with students, one is encouraged to emphasize the wellness aspects of the policy and ask if the student is interested in any assistance adapting to the policy or interested in cessation resources.

Visitors, Volunteers, Patients, and Customers: It is recommended that visitors, volunteers, patients, and customers be reminded that OHIO is a smoke/ tobacco-free campus. Educating these groups can begin prior to their arrival on campus by the sponsoring office via websites, mailings, advertisements, and electronic information. During an event on the OHIO campus, the sponsoring office shall make efforts to ensure compliance.

Cessation Resources and Support for Tobacco Users

Understanding the realities of nicotine/tobacco addiction and the concern about personal rights, there is strong empathy for university community members who smoke or use tobacco products. It is also important to note that this initiative does not require that any individual stop using tobacco products; such a decision is an individual’s choice OHIO is committed to assisting smokers and tobacco users on their journey if they choose to quit or cease use while on campus. Research indicates that it can take multiple attempts to quit and therefore, the university must support these attempts, including cessation programs, support groups, and nicotine replacement therapy. Find more information on the website's resources page.

Contacts: tobacco-free@ohio.edu