Frequently asked questions about the tobacco-free policy

Why did WSU Vancouver go tobacco free?

The tobacco-free policy is the result of a student-led initiative that started in fall 2012. WSU Vancouver has a responsibility to its students and employees to provide a safe and healthful environment. The goal of the university’s tobacco-free policy is to provide a healthy working and learning environment free from the detrimental effects of second-hand smoke.

What is the difference between smoke-free and tobacco-free?

Tobacco free includes banning the use of cigarettes, cigars, pipes, hookah, all forms of smokeless tobacco, electronic cigarettes, clove cigarettes and other alternative products made primarily with tobacco.                                          

Who does this policy affect?

The tobacco-free policy covers everyone who comes on campus—students, faculty, staff and visitors including vendors and contractors.

Where does the tobacco-free policy apply?

Smoking materials must be extinguished and disposed of prior to entering WSU Vancouver property or exiting your vehicle. Smoking is prohibited throughout all WSU Vancouver buildings, grounds, state-owned vehicles and equipment (motor pool, maintenance) including, but not limited to, parking lots, bus stops, county-owned and WSU-maintained streets or sidewalks, recreational fields and all open common areas within the WSU Vancouver campus.

How will WSU Vancouver enforce the new policy?

The enforcement of the tobacco-free policy is the responsibility of Public Safety with the assistance of all members of the WSU Vancouver community. Members of the WSU Vancouver community may notify Public Safety of repeat offenders and/or disruptive behavior. Repeated reminders/notices of violation may result in the referral of students to the Office of Student Conduct. Similarly, employees who repeatedly violate the policy will be subject to corrective or disciplinary action. Other violators may be trespassed from the WSU Vancouver campus. 

How is this policy communicated?

Signs declaring WSU Vancouver tobacco free are placed at campus entrances and other conspicuous places. The following WSU Vancouver persons and departments are responsible for ensuring the WSU Vancouver tobacco-free policy is communicated to employees, students and visitors:

Are there designated smoking areas on campus?

No. Offering smoking areas does not support the university’s goal of creating a healthy environment. Concentrating smoking to a limited area only increases the health-related risks to those in or near the designated areas and adds unnecessary cost and safety risk for all.

What if employees or students wish to stop smoking?

A study completed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 70 percent of current smokers wish to quit. Community and medical resources, self-help materials and medicines are available to help smokers quit. Many of the resources are free. Please see the Smoking Cessation Resources available from the tobacco-free policy website.

Isn’t smoking a personal, legal right?

There is no “right to smoke” under any federal, state or local law. The university owns its buildings and grounds and has the right and responsibility to enact policies to reduce injury and illness by eliminating hazards and unsafe acts and conditions from its premises. A tobacco-free policy is not an attempt to force individuals to change their lifestyle. Rather, the policy is intended to protect the greater campus community and the university’s interests. You are free to smoke or use tobacco products, but not while on WSU Vancouver premises.

Why should I comply?

It is expected that civility and respect for others will guide employees, students and visitors in complying with the tobacco-free policy. The university expects smokers will respect the right of fellow WSU Vancouver community members to breathe smoke-free air. The university also expects non-smokers who remind violators of the tobacco-free policy to do so with courtesy and respect.