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Tobacco-Free Campus Policy

Northern Vermont University Tobacco Policy

Northern Vermont University became tobacco-free on July 1, 2018. We believe that no one should have to risk their health in order to exit, enter, or stand outside any building on our beautiful campuses and we are committed to providing a healthy and safe working and learning environment for all community members. “Tobacco” is defined as any manufactured product containing tobacco or nicotine, including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco, dipping tobacco, shisha, pipes, water pipes (hookah), dissolvable tobacco products, electronic cigarettes, other electronic or battery-powered vaping devices, and all forms of smokeless tobacco.

We realize that this policy may be challenging or frustrating to some; however, it is meant to provide an environment that encourages everyone to become and/or remain tobacco-free and to promote a culture of wellness.


Q. Why did Northern Vermont University implement a tobacco-free policy?
A. As an institution of higher learning, NVU is responsible for providing a healthy environment for the students, faculty, staff and visitors that we welcome to our campus. Universities and colleges can have a large impact on tobacco prevention efforts given the very small number of people that start using tobacco beyond the traditional college-age years. As has been the case on many other campuses, education, patience and voluntary compliance will ultimately lead to a culture shift over time

Q. When did the tobacco-free policy go into effect?
A. The tobacco-free campus policy went into effect on July 1, 2018 on both the Johnson and Lyndon campuses.

Q. What does it mean to be tobacco-free?
A. Tobacco usage is not permitted on the NVU campus or any NVU-owned property. This includes all forms of tobacco including but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, pipes, water pipes (hookah), electronic cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco and all other tobacco products.

Q. Why are designated smoking areas not included in this policy?
A. There are two reasons why the university decided not to create designated smoking areas. The purpose of the Northern Vermont University’s tobacco-free policy is to create a healthy environment in which to live, work, and learn. Providing designated smoking areas would not be consistent with our tobacco policy and would create confusion with our community.

Q. Don’t I have a right to smoke on campus?
A. No, there is no “right” to smoke under either state or federal law. In addition, prohibiting smoking and the use of tobacco products on campus preserves everyone’s right to breathe clean, smoke-free air while allowing adults who smoke and use tobacco products to continue to do so off-campus. The decision supports the rights and privileges of both smokers and non-smokers alike.

Q. Is tobacco use allowed in vehicles?
A. Using tobacco in a vehicle located on the NVU campus or any NVU owned property is not permitted.

Q. Why is the use of e-cigarettes also banned?
A. E-cigarettes are nicotine delivery devices, just like cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, which operate by vaporizing the nicotine so it can be inhaled. There is not enough research currently available to determine the safety of these products.

Q. Do I have to quit smoking, vaping or stop using tobacco to live/work/study at NVU?
A. The tobacco-free campus policy is not about making tobacco users quit but about maintaining a healthy environment and eliminating exposure to tobacco and secondhand smoke. Students, staff and faculty are not being asked to quit but need to refrain from use on campus to abide by the policy;

Q. I am a tobacco user, what assistance can I receive to quit my tobacco usage?
A. If you are ready to quit, we want to support your efforts. NVU will promote cessation opportunities to community members throughout the academic year. You may also contact the Dean of Students Office at 635-1200 to learn more about cessation programs and workshops. Additionally, it is important to tell your doctor when you are ready to quit. Your doctor can help you connect with the right resources as well.

Q. What is my responsibility if I see someone smoking or using a prohibited product on campus?
A. Like any policy, enforcement can be difficult to address. Politely and respectfully inform those who are using a tobacco product that the NVU campus is tobacco-free. Honoring and supporting this policy is the responsibility of all members of the university community. You may also ask for assistance in addressing tobacco use by contacting the Public Safety or Dean of Students Offices.

According to the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, as of April 1, 2018, there are now at least 2,164 100% smoke-free campus sites. Of these, 1,805 are also 100% tobacco free.