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NC UNC System Universities Sample Tobacco-Free Policy

A Policy to Prohibit Smoking and the Use of Other Tobacco Products at UNC System Universities

 [Insert college/university name] is committed to providing its employees and students with a safe and healthful environment. [Insert college/university name] also recognizes the use of tobacco products on campus grounds is detrimental to the health and safety of students, staff, faculty and visitors. [insert college/university name] also recognizes that it has the legal authority to prohibit smoking and other tobacco use, including e-cigarette use, only within 100 linear feet of campus buildings pursuant to G.S. 143-599. 

[insert college/university name] therefore has set the following policy regarding tobacco use, to be implemented on [date].

Use of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, is prohibited:
  • in all campus residence halls
  • in all campus buildings 
  • 100 linear feet outside any building  
  • in all [insert college/university name] vehicles.
All non-tobacco use areas shall be clearly marked with signs. 

Organizers and attendees at public events, such as conferences, meetings, public lectures, social events and cultural events, using [insert college/university name] facilities will be required to abide by the University Tobacco Policy.

For the purposes of this policy, tobacco products is defined as any product containing, made, or derived from tobacco that is intended for human consumption, whether chewed, smoked, absorbed, dissolved, inhaled, snorted, sniffed, or ingested by any other means, or any component part or accessory of a tobacco product, including but not limited to cigarettes; cigars; little cigars; cheroots; stogies; periques; granulated, plug cut, crimp cut, ready rubbed, and other smoking tobacco; snuff; snuff flour; Cavendish; plug and twist tobacco; fine-cut and other chewing tobacco; shorts; refuse scraps, clippings, cutting and sweepings of tobacco, e-cigarettes, hookah, and other kinds and forms of tobacco.  
A tobacco product excludes any product that has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for sale as a tobacco cessation product, as a tobacco dependence product, or for other medical purposes, and is being marketed and sold solely for such an approved purpose. The sale or free distribution of tobacco products, including merchandise, is prohibited on campus or at school events.

Student organizations are prohibited from accepting money or gifts from tobacco companies, including:
  1. Parties sponsored by tobacco companies or allowing tobacco companies to distribute free,         reduced-price, or fully-priced tobacco products (t-shirts, hats, etc.) on campus.
  2. All tobacco advertising, such as billboards and signs owned and used by ________University.Tobacco advertisements are prohibited in college-run publications and on grounds or facilities, including athletic facilities, owned or used by _______University.Through existing health plans, Employee Assistance Program and community sponsors,       ______ University will consult with appropriate health organizations to provide students and employees with information and access to QuitlineNC at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or, support systems, programs and services to encourage abstinence from the use of tobacco products, including publicizing free, accessible tobacco cessation classes, seminars, and support groups on or off campus.
Promotional materials for QuitlineNC and cessation classes, seminars, and support groups shall appear regularly in student and staff publications.  They shall be posted in buildings, through Student Services and through other appropriate means.

Implementation and Compliance:

  1. The health and wellness or appropriate committee shall develop a plan for communicating the policy to students, staff, faculty, and visitors. The administration will develop a plan for communicating the policy that may include information in student and employee handbooks, announcements at institutionally-sponsored or related events, and appropriate signage in buildings and around campus.
  2. Each curriculum and continuing education instructor shall explain the University’s tobacco policy at the beginning of the term of each class.  
  3. Coaches of intercollegiate athletic teams will explain the policy at the beginning of each sport's season and shall communicate the policy to the coaches of visiting teams.
  4. The University will provide appropriate signage and other physical indicators of the policy.
  5. Signs will be posted in a manner and location to adequately notify students, staff, faculty, visitors and contractors of the policy. 
  6. Signs will state in English (optional: insert other languages here) that smoking and the use of tobacco products are prohibited, and will include the universal “No Smoking and Use of Tobacco Products Prohibited” symbol. 
  7. Smoking waste management products such as ashtrays shall be removed.

Compliance for students:  Consequences for students engaging in the prohibited behavior will be provided in accordance with the institution’s student behavior management plan. Housing and Residential Life is responsible for compliance in campus student residences, per the [insert university name] Student Handbook, violation of policies and procedures as stated in the [name of publication or equivalent]. Students who violate the tobacco-use policy will be processed through established disciplinary protocol. Student violators will be provided with access to up-to-date information on the many consequences of tobacco use, offered techniques that students can use to stop tobacco use, and provided referrals to local youth tobacco cessation programs. Parents/guardians of minors will be notified of all violations and actions taken by the institution.  Suspension will only be used after a student has three or more prior violations or refused to participate in other outlined measures.

Compliance for staff and visitors:  Consequences for employees who violate the tobacco use policy will be in accordance with personnel policies of ___________University and may include verbal warning, written reprimand or termination. Visitors using tobacco products will be asked to refrain while on ___________ property within the 100 linear foot perimeter from buildings or leave the premises.  University law enforcement officers may be contacted to escort the person off the premises or cite the person for trespassing if the person refuses to leave the l property. 

It is the responsibility of each faculty and staff member to promote compliance with the tobacco-free policy.  Instructors should use tact and good judgment in dealing with possible violations.

This policy was adopted by [entity] on [date].
NCDHHS, Division of Public Health
North Carolina Public Health