FAQs on tobacco-free policy

What does the policy mean?

Smoking or use of any tobacco product is not permitted in any UW-Stevens Point facility or on property owned or controlled by UW-Stevens Point. This includes parking lots and sidewalks. A campus boundary map can be found here.

Why did UW-Stevens Point enact the policy?

We want to support a safe and healthful learning and working environment for all of our students, faculty, staff and visitors. Smoking and secondhand smoke can increase a person's risk for heart disease, cancer and respiratory problems, just to name a few. According to the surgeon general, there is no safe exposure level to secondhand smoke. In addition, smokeless tobacco causes oral, esophageal and pancreatic cancer.

Who must comply with this policy?

All UW-Stevens Point students, faculty and staff members, contracted workers and visitors must comply with this policy.

What products are included in the policy?

"Tobacco" is defined to include any lighted cigarette (including cloves, bidis and kreteks), cigars, pipes and hookah products; any other smoking products such as e-cigarettes; and any smokeless, spit or spitless, dissolvable or inhaled tobacco products, including but not limited to dip, chew, snuff or snus, in any form (such as orbs, sticks, pellet, etc.)

Does the policy apply to e-cigarettes?

Yes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not consider e-cigarettes to be a safe nicotine-delivery system or smoking-cessation strategy, and their use is prohibited on university property.

Is possession of tobacco products a violation of the policy?

Personal tobacco products are allowed on university property.

Isn’t this policy a violation of my civil rights?

No. There is no "right" to use tobacco products under state or federal law. In addition, the UW-Stevens Point administration has the authority to regulate the use on university property. Prohibiting tobacco use 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 smokers and nonsmokers.

Will the university require everyone to quit using tobacco?

No. However, the university will support all students, faculty and staff members who want to stop using tobacco products with cessation resources. Those who choose to keep using tobacco may do so, but only on their own time and in areas not owned, operated, leased, occupied or controlled by UW-Stevens Point.

Are there any exceptions?

There is one exception to the policy. Because of the unique location and setting of Treehaven, a designated safe area for tobacco use will be in place until fall 2015. The additional time for implementation will provide advance notice to non-campus users who rent the facility.

What resources are available for those who want to stop using tobacco?

The UW-Stevens Point Student Health Service offers students free individual and group tobacco-cessation counseling as well as free or reduced-cost nicotine-replacement products and prescription medication to assist in tobacco cessation. Faculty and staff can access tobacco-cessation resources through the Cessation Resources page.

How will the policy be enforced?

We are an institution of higher education. Therefore, education is the key to implementing this policy. We will make people aware of the tobacco-free environment through electronic information, signs, notices at event programs and marketing materials. An explanation of the tobacco-free campus policy is communicated to prospective and enrolling students and new employees. Additionally, we ask event planners to include information about the policy in materials distributed to all outside groups using university facilities. The expectation is that students, faculty and staff members, and visitors will voluntarily comply with the policy. Everyone on campus should politely inform others of the policy and ask that tobacco users put out their cigarette or stop using tobacco products on campus.

What should I do if I see someone using tobacco on campus or university grounds?

Faculty, staff and students who see individuals smoking or using tobacco on university grounds should inform these individuals politely that university policy prohibits tobacco use anywhere on university grounds. The following are suggested scripts to use as a helpful resource.

What should an owner of property adjacent to campus do if they notice the accumulation of tobacco litter?

Please contact Jen Sorenson, administrative director of Student Health Service, at 715-346-4641. The university will work with business owners and other property owners adjacent to university properties to address their concerns.

Whom can I contact if I have questions about the policy?

For more information, please call Jen Sorenson, administrative director of Student Health Service, at 715-346-4641.