Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: Isn’t a tobacco-free policy a violation of my civil rights?
A: No, a tobacco free campus is not a violation of an individual’s civil rights. There is no state or federal law that provides a “right” to smoke or use tobacco. In addition, St. Cloud State has the authority to govern and regulate the use of its facilities, vehicles and properties.
Q: Does the tobacco-free policy apply to smokeless tobacco?
A: Yes. Implementing a comprehensive policy that includes all forms of tobacco is more equitable, easier to enforce and has better health outcomes. The policy consistently addresses health issues, because according to research, there is no safe form of tobacco. Tobacco residue is harmful to the environment. In addition, smokeless tobacco use creates unwanted waste both outdoors and indoors. This creates additional debris cleanup work for campus maintenance staff.
Q: Is possession of tobacco products on campus a violation of the tobacco-free policy?
A: No, the policy only applies to the use of tobacco products, not possession of tobacco products.
Q: Is tobacco use inside private vehicles in campus parking lots permitted?
A: Yes, as long as tobacco users demonstrate respect for individuals and the environment.
Q: Does the tobacco-free policy apply to e-cigarettes?
A: Yes, the use of e-cigarettes is prohibited under this policy. Read more information about e-cigarettes.
Q: What resources are available to help those who would like assistance with quitting tobacco use?
A: Efforts will be made to ensure that students and employees are aware of the variety of cessation resources both on campus (Student Health Services) as well as options available through health care providers (Human Resources).
Q: What if I am a tobacco user and have no intentions of quitting?
A: The decision to use tobacco is a personal choice. The purpose of the tobacco-free policy is to create a healthy environment for all by prohibiting the use of tobacco on St. Cloud State property. It is not the intention of the policy to force you to quit.
Q: Does the tobacco- free policy apply to tobacco use for ceremonial, instructional, experimental or artistic purposes?
A: No, the policy is consistent with the Minnesota State Statute that permits ceremonial tobacco use in traditional Native American spiritual or cultural ceremonies held on campus, as well as for instructional, experimental or artistic purposes. The exemption to use tobacco in those applications must be approved through the appropriate campus processes.
Q: Does the tobacco-free policy apply in University residence halls?
A: Yes, the residence halls have been smoke free since 2007; however the new tobacco free policy will also prohibit the use of smokeless tobacco in residence halls.
Q: Have there been any benefits to going tobacco-free?
A: Yes, St. Cloud State’s commitment to a tobacco-free campus has already led to a healthier environment. Within the first six months of going tobacco-free, there was a nearly 50% decrease in the number of students who reported exposure to second-hand smoke outside on campus, according to the annual College Student Health Survey. The university also experienced a 25% decrease in tobacco use.
Q: Who is responsible for enforcing the tobacco-free policy, and what are the consequences of violating the policy?
A: Enforcement is carried out through Public Safety with disciplinary actions through Residential Life, Student Live and Development and Human Resources.
For students in violation of the tobacco-free policy:
- 1st offense – Issued a written warning and made aware of available cessation resources and support.
- 2nd offense – Reported to the appropriate office for conduct meetings. Educational programs and associated fees may be required.
- 3rd offense – Subsequent action will be determined by the conduct officer.
For employees in violation of the tobacco-free policy:
- Progressive disciplinary actions.