Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why are we becoming a smoke and tobacco free campus?
A: The scientific evidence on the health risks associated with tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke are well documented. By implementing the Smoke and Tobacco Free Campus Policy, Eastern Oregon University is seeking to enhance the health of our students, faculty, staff and visitors.
Also, Governor Kitzhaber signed an Executive Order for all state agencies to be tobacco free. The policy will take effect on September 15, 2013. Creating a tobacco free campus will improve health, wellness, and productivity. Tobacco Free State Properties Rationale.
Q. If I see someone using tobacco on campus, should I approach them? What would I say?
A. If you feel comfortable about approaching a student, staff/faculty member, or visitor:
- Be polite and friendly.
- Assume the person isn’t aware of the policy.
- Explain tobacco use is not permitted on the EOU campus.
- (If needed) Remind the person of links between tobacco use and health risks (i.e. no level of secondhand smoke is safe, risks of developing cancer, etc).
- Empathize with the person’s situation.
Q: What areas of campus will the Smoke and Tobacco Free Policy cover?
A: The new policy applies to all university owned properties including those leased to others as well as properties leased in their entirety to EOU. “Property” for purposes of this paragraph includes buildings, athletic and entertainment facilities (both indoors and outside), sidewalks, roadways, parking lots, and grounds. This includes University owned, rented or leased vehicles and also applies to personal vehicles while parked on University property.
Q: Is a Smoke and Tobacco Free Policy a violation of civil and Constitutional rights?
A: No. There is no Constitutional right to smoke or use tobacco. Tobacco users are not a category protected under the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution, nor is tobacco use a protected liberty right under the Due Process clause of the Constitution.
Q: Is there a designated smoking area(s)?
A: No. Providing a place to smoke or use tobacco does not support the University’s goal to create a healthier environment. In 2006, the U.S. Surgeon General stated that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. In addition we are working to eliminate “triggers”, like smoking areas, that make smoking cessation difficult.
Q: Is there cessation support available for faculty, staff or students?
A: For students, they may receive services from the Student Health and Counseling Center by calling to make an appointment. For faculty and staff, they can review resources provided from their insurance program and/or use local and State resources.
Q: Why are electronic cigarettes or “e-cigarettes” not permitted?
A: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) describe these as a product that delivers nicotine and other chemicals and they have not been found safe for consumers to use. EOU would like to be consistent in their regulation of tobacco and/or similar products.
Q: What about international students who currently smoke in higher percentages than other students? What is planned to address what may be cultural differences in behavior?
A: Communication to international students about the policy and expectations for adhering to the policy is very important. In addition, we will meet with and work with international students who smoke and ask them what they need for cessation support or provide information on ways to cope without smoking on campus should they decide to continue using tobacco.
Q: If I choose to continue to smoke or use tobacco and do not have enough time to step off campus to smoke what am I supposed to do?
A: The University is aware that nicotine is a highly addictive drug and simply waiting until lunch-time or after work will be difficult for some. We encourage the use of a nicotine replacement product such as the gum or lozenge for times that are inconvenient to smoke or use smokeless tobacco.
Q: What about the University neighbors?
A: EOU asks that our students, faculty and staff help maintain a positive relationship with our neighbors that border the campus. We encourage you to respect other’s property by not littering and not congregating in areas to smoke and thus creating a cloud that others must walk through. We will be reaching out to our neighbors and informing them of the upcoming policy and encouraging open communication if a problem arises.