Tobacco-Free Campus Frequently Asked Questions
What other colleges and universities have a smoke-free or tobacco-free campus policy?
- As of January 2, 2012, over 648 colleges and universities have such a policy: See http://www.no-smoke.org/pdf/smokefreecollegesuniversities.pdf for the complete list. Additionally, a number of colleges and universities are currently in the process of striving for and considering similar policies.
Who will have to comply with this suggested policy?
- All university employees, students, or visitors on the Eastern Illinois University campus.
What about individual rights?
- Prohibiting smoking on campus preserves everyone's right to breathe clean, smoke-free air while allowing adults who smoke to continue to do so off-campus. This decision supports the rights and privileges of both smokers and non-smokers alike.
Isn’t this a violation of my civil rights?
- No; there is no “right” to smoke under either state or federal law.
How much will it cost?
- All available studies suggest that there is no negative financial impact. From a recent study of universities that became smoke-free, campus personnel did not report student and alumni resistance, changes in personnel workloads or an increased financial burden. Also, it decreases damage to residence hall buildings, decreased fire alarms, decreased incidence of student roommate conflicts, improved student retention, and improved policy enforcement.
- Information from other universities actually suggest a cost benefit. School officials at Pennsylvania State University reported that 13 landscapers spend 10 hours a week picking up discarded cigarettes at a cost of $150,000 (Philadelphia Daily News, March 27, 2000). This study suggests that going tobacco-free will not pose a financial burden on EIU.
How will the tobacco-free policy be enforced?
- Ultimately, our hope is to achieve voluntary compliance with the tobacco-free policy, aided by community enforcement of its terms. There are clear challenges associated with the enforcement of this policy; however, similar to all University policies, we each have a responsibility to comply.
- While not preferred, if necessary, disciplinary actions for violations, tailored to each constituency within the community, may be implemented. Volunteers trained to serve as campus tobacco policy advocates will tour campus and politely approach violators reminding them of the policy and encourage them to refrain from tobacco use while on campus.
Why ban tobacco products on Eastern Illinois University campus?
- Eastern Illinois University strives to encourage a healthy, comfortable and productive work and learning environment for students, faculty, and staff. Tobacco use negatively impacts the entire community. Smoke-free environments significantly reduce exposure to secondhand smoke, which has been associated with many health problems. This movement is an investment in the health of our faculty, staff, and students similar to other university health service initiatives, including health fairs, flu shots, and preventive