Questions and Answers
What does it mean to be a tobacco-free and smoke-free campus?
Colleges and universities are considered smoke-free if they prohibit smoking in all indoor and outdoor areas and tobacco-free if they prohibit both smoking and smokeless tobacco product use in all indoor and outdoor areas.
Lehigh will prohibit all tobacco use and smoking on all campus grounds and properties by students, faculty, staff and visitors. This includes vaping, hookahs, chewing tobacco, and marijuana (already prohibited), in addition to cigarettes, pipes, and cigars.
No tobacco-related advertising or sponsorship will be permitted on university property, at university-sponsored events, or in publications produced by the university, with the exception of advertising in a newspaper or magazine that is not produced by the university and which is lawfully sold, bought, or distributed on university property.
Campus organizations are prohibited from accepting money or gifts from tobacco companies. This includes sponsorship by tobacco companies of parties or social events and distribution of free, reduced-price, or fully priced tobacco products and promotional items (t-shirts, hats, etc.) on campus.
What products are specifically prohibited?
A. “Electronic Smoking Device” means any product containing or delivering nicotine or any other substance intended for human consumption that can be used by a person to simulate smoking through inhalation of vapor or aerosol from the product. The term includes any such device, whether manufactured, distributed, marketed, or sold as an e-cigarette, e-cigar, e-pipe, e-hookah, or vape pen, or under any other product name or descriptor.
B. “Hookah” means a water pipe and any associated products and devices which are used to produce fumes, smoke, and/or vapor from the burning of material, including but not limited to tobacco, shisha, or other plant matter.
C. “Smoking” means inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying any lighted or heated cigar, cigarette, or pipe, or any other lighted or heated tobacco or plant product intended for inhalation, including hookahs and marijuana, whether natural or synthetic, in any manner or in any form. “Smoking” also includes the use of an electronic smoking device which creates an aerosol or vapor, in any manner or in any form, or the use of any oral smoking device for the purpose of circumventing the prohibition of smoking in this policy.
D. “Tobacco Product” means any substance containing tobacco leaf, including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, hookah tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco, dipping tobacco, bidis, blunts, clove cigarettes, or any other preparation of tobacco; and any product or formulation of matter containing biologically active amounts of nicotine that is manufactured, sold, offered for sale, or otherwise distributed with the expectation that the product or matter will be introduced into the human body by inhalation; but does not include any cessation product specifically approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in treating nicotine or tobacco dependence.
Why is Lehigh becoming a tobacco- and smoke-free campus and how was the policy developed?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 5.6 million young Americans will die early from a smoking-related illness if smoking continues at current rates; tobacco use, both passive and active, is a significant health hazard. Adopting a tobacco-free policy brings our practices into alignment with our community-wide health and wellness goals. It not only protects nonsmokers from secondhand smoking but also promotes the cessation of harmful tobacco use and curbs the influence of the tobacco epidemic.
The policy is the culmination of several years of collaborative work by many across the university with the primary goal of promoting health and wellness on our campus and in our community. More than 2,000 colleges and universities across the country are already tobacco- and smoke-free campuses.
Why was smokeless tobacco prohibited?
Prohibiting all tobacco use—not just smoking—aligns with our community-wide commitment to fostering health and wellness and promotes cessation for students, faculty and staff. According to a recent study, totally smoke-free workplaces are associated with reductions in the prevalence of smoking of 3.8% and 3.1 fewer cigarettes smoked per day per continuing smoker. And prohibiting tobacco use also promotes healthy behaviors for college-aged students—data from the U.S. Surgeon General indicates that those who don’t start using tobacco by age 26 will most likely never start.
When will the policy take effect?
August 2, 2021, and it will be in effect at all times (24/7), including at night and on weekends.
Where will the policy apply?
The policy applies to all Lehigh University facilities, property, and vehicles, owned or leased, regardless of location, including facilities leased by the university for university use or to other entities for commercial use.
Smoking and the use of any tobacco products are not be permitted in any enclosed place, including but not limited to all offices, classrooms, laboratories, hallways, restrooms, meeting rooms, community areas, athletic venues, performance venues, and private residential space and common area spaces within university housing. Smoking shall also be prohibited outdoors on all university campus property, including, but not limited to parking lots, paths, fields, sports/recreational areas, and stadiums. This policy does not apply to off-campus areas that are neither owned nor managed by the university.
Who does this policy apply to?
This policy applies to all students, faculty, staff, and other persons on campus regardless of the purpose of their visit.
What are some changes I will notice on campus because of the new policy?
Before, smoking was allowed at a distance from building entrances. Now, tobacco use, including the use of smokeless products, will not be allowed in any campus areas, including outdoors. Ashtrays will be removed and new signage will be implemented to serve as important reminders.
What if I have tobacco on my person and take it off campus to use. Is this a violation of the tobacco-free campus policy?
How will the policy be enforced and what are the consequences for violating the policy?
Enforcement will be handled as a management issue for faculty or staff, or as a behavioral issue if a student.
Where can I find more information about the policy?
The policy is posted on the website.
Where can I find resources about quitting tobacco use?
Students may contact the Health and Wellness Center and utilize resources provided by Counseling & Psychological Services (UCPS).
Benefits-eligible faculty and staff have a number of tobacco/smoking cessation resources from Lehigh’s healthcare and wellness providers. These include prescription coverage, mental health counseling, coaching, and more. To see a complete list of options, visit the Human Resources website.
LVHN Tobacco Treatment Program
Smoking Cessation Groups (Wfmz.com article)
CDC Resources to Quit Smoking
American Heart Association Resources
American Lung Association Resources
Where can I find additional data and information about the impact of tobacco-free communities?