What is ASU’s tobacco-free policy and when does it take effect?

Effective Aug. 1, 2013, tobacco use is prohibited on university property, facilities, grounds, parking structures, university-owned vehicles and structures owned or leased by the university.

How will you communicate this policy change to faculty, staff and students?

We will announce this policy through all of ASU’s media outlets, including e-mail messages, My ASU announcements, ASU News, The State Press and local news outlets. To view the current ACD 804: Smoking Policy in its entirety, visit the Academic Affairs Manual. The future ACD 804: Tobacco-Free Campus Policy can be viewed here.

Who does the policy affect?

All university employees, students and visitors will be asked to adhere to the tobacco-free policy while on ASU property.

Isn’t this tobacco-free policy a violation of my civil and constitutional rights?

There is no “right to smoke” under state or federal law.  ASU has the authority to govern the use of university property and regulate its use. Smoking in public places produces secondhand smoke, which has been scientifically proven to harm others, even if they do not smoke. Banning tobacco at ASU protects everyone from exposure to secondhand smoke while they are on campus. If someone wishes to use tobacco products, they may freely do so outside of ASU's tobacco-free zones.

How was the policy developed?

The tobacco-free policy is a collaborative product of students, staff, faculty and Arizona State University administration.

Why wasn't I told?

The ASU Tobacco-free committee engaged individuals and groups both on and off campus throughout the planning process over the past two years. The initiative to become tobacco-free was started by students.  ASU faculty, staff and students were involved in the planning and discussions.  The plans were presented to student government, University Staff Council and the Faculty Senate. Colleges and universities that had previously gone tobacco-free, health care providers and community resources all provided input into this plan following best practice guidelines to ensure a smooth transition to a tobacco-free environment.

How can I reverse this?

ASU is committed to supporting a culture of health for students, faculty, staff and visitors. A tobacco-free environment contributes substantially to a healthier environment which is in line with ASU’s commitment to health.

How will campus visitors know that ASU is a tobacco-free institution?

Signage about our tobacco-free campus will be placed throughout ASU grounds and buildings beginning in Spring 2013. You may also alert campus visitors about this policy by sending them a link to the ASU Tobacco-free Initiative website before their arrival.

Does this policy apply to all ASU campuses and properties?

Yes, all properties owned or leased by ASU are covered under this policy.

How is this policy different from the current policies about smoking and tobacco use?

Previously, those who wished to use tobacco products at ASU could do so outdoors, at least 25 feet away from any building  entrance. This new policy further encourages health and wellness at ASU by completely prohibiting the use of all tobacco products on ASU property.

Why not just create more smoking areas?

The creation of designated places to use tobacco is not consistent with ASU’s commitment to improve the working and learning environment, as well as improve the health of our community.

Is smokeless tobacco also banned?

Yes. Because alternative tobacco products, including smokeless tobacco (known as “chew,” “dip”  and “snuff,”), hookah have been found to be detrimental to health, these products are also banned because they do not fit with ASU’s environment of health and wellness. Anyone who wants to use these products, will have to partake outside of  ASU's  tobacco-free zones.

Will the university require people to quit using tobacco products?

ASU acknowledges that the use of tobacco products is a personal choice. However, the use of tobacco does not fit with the culture of health and wellness ASU encourages. Though some may choose to use tobacco products off campus, by removing tobacco use from university property ASU can better protect those who choose not to smoke from the effects of secondhand smoke, as well as help those who are trying to quit tobacco.

Why was smokeless tobacco banned?

All types of tobacco products are known to present a health hazard to users.   As a result the university adopted a 100% tobacco-free policy

Are e-cigarettes a safe alternative to smoking?

There is insufficient evidence about the safety of e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes are not FDA approved and are not considered an approved cessation device.

Can I use e-cigarettes on campus?

E-cigarettes produce indoor air pollutants and have a heating element which can serve as a source of ignition. They are therefore prohibited indoors and near any area with combustible materials. E-cigarettes can be used outdoors on campus away from combustible materials.

What resources are available to help those who want to quit tobacco?

A smoker who wishes to quit can increase his/her chances of success by using available resources such as those discussed on our Tobacco-free Initiative website.  

What are the borders of the tobacco-free environment? 

These maps identify all of the tobacco-free zones at ASU.  All ASU owned property, including the ASU Research Park, SkySong and parking lots/garages are included in the tobacco-free zones.  

Can I use tobacco in my own vehicle within the tobacco-free zones?

No, a vehicle parked in an ASU lot or on a street within the borders of the ASU campus is still within the boundaries of the tobacco-free zone, and must be moved off-campus if you want  to use tobacco products within the vehicle.

Will there still be designated smoking areas at ASU after Aug. 1, 2013?

No, as we transition to a tobacco-free campus, the current smoking policy, which limits smoking to 25 feet away from any ASU building entrance, will remain in effect.  On Aug. 1, 2013 when the new policy goes into effect, there will be no smoking areas on university property.

I work with students on a daily basis. how can I support the tobacco-free policy and help students live healthier lives?

As a faculty/staff member working directly with students, you have a wonderful opportunity to help students understand the policy and become tobacco-free. Invite a "quit coach" to speak at your next meeting.   The coach can provide information and resources about quitting, including the tobacco-free website and also discuss the benefits of a tobacco-free environment. If you know several students that want to quit together, offer a quit group on site to increase the social support and subsequent success of those who want to quit using tobacco. If you’re a smoker and want to quit, be a role model for your students!

Does the tobacco-free policy apply to tailgate gatherings and events at outdoor stadiums and fields? 

Yes.  All events that take place on ASU property, including tailgate gatherings and outdoor events, still fall into the tobacco-free zones.

Are recreational facilities tobacco-free?

Yes, if they are on ASU property.  

Will the policy remain in effect on weekends?

The tobacco-free policy is in effect 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Does the policy include property  the university leases?

Yes, the tobacco-free policy applies to all buildings owned and leased by ASU. The only exceptions are leased residential buildings designated for smoking. If you are unsure whether your residential building is one of these buildings, please contact your residence hall director.

What will be done with the ashtrays around campus?

Ashtrays will be removed from campus because they are a receptacle for a product that will no longer be used on ASU property.

How will property owners adjacent to the ASU campuses be affected by the policy? is there a plan to handle employees who just travel to the nearest off-campus sidewalk or building to smoke?

Properties adjacent to ASU set their own policies regarding tobacco use. We ask ASU employees, students and visitors to be courteous when going off campus to use tobacco products by disposing of tobacco products and packaging in appropriate receptacles and being aware of others nearby who may not wish to be exposed to secondhand smoke.

What should I do if I see someone smoking or using other tobacco products?

It is possible that a person smoking on the ASU campus is unaware of the tobacco-free policy. If you see someone smoking on an ASU campus after Aug. 1, 2013, kindly inform him/her that ASU has gone tobacco-free, and ask them to extinguish their tobacco product if you are comfortable doing so. You also may ask if they need directions to a nearby, off-campus location where they can use tobacco or email tobaccofree@asu.edu with the location and time of the violation.

How will the policy be enforced and by whom?  

The policy will be enforced by the Dean of Students, Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities (SRR). If a student violates the tobacco-free policy, the location and time of the violation can be reported to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities or by emailing tobaccofree@asu.edu. If a staff member violates the policy, their department supervisor, Dean or Vice President will be contacted.

What are the consequences for people who violate the tobacco-free policy?

Students and employees are required to abide by all university policies in their day-to-day activities at ASU. If a student or an employee violates this policy, they will face disciplinary action. For individuals who do not observe Tobacco-free policy, the first violation will be a written warning from the Dean of Students, Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities (SRR). For students, the second violation will be a $50 fine. For faculty and staff, subsequent violations will result in a referral to their department supervisor, Dean or Vice President. Students who violate the Tobacco-free policy three times will receive an additional $50 fine and a referral to the Dean of Students, Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities (SRR).

Are there policy exceptions?

The only exceptions to the tobacco-free policy include leased university residences that have been designated for smoking and the use of tobacco in privately owned vehicles outside of the tobacco-free zones.

Have NAU and U of A gone tobacco-free?  how common is this for a university to do? 

The University of Arizona prohibits smoking in all buildings owned or leased by the university.  Northern Arizona University prohibits smoking in all university buildings and university-owned vehicles.  Many colleges and universities have implemented tobacco-free policies.  The Maricopa County Community College District established a smoke-free, tobacco-free environment on July 1, 2012. 

How will this change make a positive difference at ASU?

ASU is committed to protecting the health and safety of university employees, students and visitors on the ASU campuses. Creating a tobacco-free environment allows for a healthy, comfortable and productive living, learning and working environment.

I’ve tried to quit smoking before, but have not been successful.  are there any medications that can help me?

Quitting tobacco can be a long, difficult process. The  Arizona Smokers’ Helpline (1-800-556-6222), offers personalized coaching to quit smoking, referrals to local resources (including doctors who are able to prescribe medication) and potentially discounted medication.


Can I use the money I put aside in my flexible spending account to pay for costs related to smoking cessation aids and counseling that are not covered by insurance?

Money can be set aside in your flexible spending account to cover smoking cessation aids and counseling.  However, as a benefits-eligible employee, all smoking cessation medications (over the counter and prescription) are covered by your insurance with a doctor's prescription.  State employees are also eligible for free coaching and counseling services. 

For more information about the ASU Tobacco-Free Initiative, please email tobaccofree@asu.edu.