Tobacco-Free Campus

Frequently Asked Questions

How will the policy be enforced?
We are an institution of higher education therefore education is key to implementing this policy. We make people aware of the tobacco-limited environment through electronic messaging, signage, notices in event programs and marketing. An explanation of the tobacco-limited campus policy is communicated to prospective and enrolling students and new employees. Additionally, we ask event planners to include about the policy in materials distributed to all outside groups that use Vol State facilities.

The expectation is that persons will voluntarily comply with the policy. It is the responsibility of everyone on campus to politely inform others of the policy and ask that they put out their cigarette and/or stop using tobacco products with the exception of designated areas on campus.
Does the policy apply to visitors to campus?
Yes. Organizers and attendees at public events, such as conferences, meetings, public lectures, social events, cultural events, and sporting events using  Vol State facilities are required to abide by the Tobacco-Limited Campus policy. Organizers of such events are responsible for communicating the policy to attendees.
Is the college requiring that people quit using tobacco products?
No. However, we are encouraging current tobacco users to explore this option. The college is committed to supporting all students and employees who wish to stop using tobacco products with cessation resources. Students, faculty, and staff choosing to continue using tobacco products may do so, but only on permitted time and in locations designated for tobacco usage.
What resources are available to help those who want to quit using tobacco products?
Assistance to students, faculty, and staff to overcome addiction to tobacco products is available online.  See the Tobacco Cessation Resources page on the www.volstate.edu for a list of available resources.
Does the Tobacco-free Campus policy prohibit the use of chewing tobacco on campus?
Yes. The use of all tobacco products, including smokeless tobacco products like chewing tobacco and snuff, is prohibited on all college property except for areas that permit the use of tobacco products.
Are clove cigarettes (Bidis or Kreteks) permitted?
No. The use of clove cigarettes is prohibited by the Tobacco-Limited Campus policy outside of areas permitted for tobacco use. The CDC reports that smoking clove cigarettes is associated with an increased risk for lung damage. See CDC information on clove cigarettes.
Will the use of tobacco-free hookahs or vapor cigarettes be allowed on campus?
No. Hookahs, sometimes called water pipes, are prohibited by the Tobacco-Limited Campus policy outside of areas permitted for tobacco use.  There is insufficient research data to document that they are safe for use and that they will not pose a health risk to others. See CDC information on these materials.
Are there designated smoking or tobacco use areas?
Yes.  Designated smoking or tobacco use locations are the parking lots surrounding the perimeter of campus.
Are there signs to tell people they can’t use tobacco?
Notices bearing the message “Tobacco-Limited Campus” and signs with the international symbol for tobacco-free or similar will be posted at college vehicular, pedestrian and building entrances. However, the Tobacco-Limited Campus policy applies to all college property whether or not a notice or sign is posted.
What if people don't abide by the policy?
For visitors, we believe reminders about the tobacco-limited campus will be important and the college will provide messaging on college affiliated materials, websites, vendor contracts and for special events. For students and employees, we expect cooperation with a policy that directly supports our ongoing research endeavors and other university initiatives. The college will evaluate reports of repeated concerns and implement actions for resolution using existing methods of enforcement for policy violations.
What should I do if I see someone using tobacco on university property?
The following are suggested scripts to use as a helpful resource:
Example Script #1:  Situation: You see a person using tobacco products on campus – tobacco use is permitted in the parking lots:
Response: "Hello. I want to make you aware that we are a tobacco-limited campus. Tobacco products are limited everywhere except for parking lots. We would appreciate if you would not use tobacco products while on main campus grounds. Thank you for your cooperation."
Example Script #2:  Question: "Where am I allowed to smoke?"
Response: "If you need to smoke or use tobacco products you will need to head towards the nearest parking lot. You can visit our online campus maps to help you identify campus property at www.volstate.edu/directory/campus-map
Example Script #3:  For registration, pre-admission, and office staff who are speaking to students and families prior to a campus visit: "I'd like to let you know in advance that our campus is a Tobacco-Limited environment. We do allow tobacco use in parking lots located around the perimeter of campus.