Lehigh University Becomes a Tobacco- and Smoke-Free Campus

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 the use of smokeless tobacco products in all indoor and outdoor areas.

Lehigh prohibits all tobacco use and smoking on all campus premises by students, faculty, staff, and visitors. In addition to cigarettes, pipes and cigars, this also includes vaping, shisha, chewing tobacco and marijuana (already banned).

With the exception of advertising in a newspaper or magazine that is not produced and lawfully sold by the university, no advertising or sponsorship related to tobacco is purchased or permitted on the university premises, at university sponsored events, or in university publications distributed on university properties.

Campus organizations are not allowed to accept money or gifts from tobacco companies. This includes sponsorship of parties or social events by tobacco companies, as well as the distribution of free, discounted, or inexpensive tobacco products and promotional items (T-shirts, hats, etc.) on campus.

Which products are expressly prohibited?


A. “Electronic smoking device” means any product that contains or provides nicotine or other substance intended for human consumption that can be used by a person to simulate smoking by inhaling vapor or aerosol from the product. The term encompasses such a device whether it is manufactured, distributed, marketed or sold as an e-cigarette, e-cigar, e-pipe, e-shisha or vape pen or under any other product name or descriptor.

BB “Hookah” means a water pipe and all related products and devices used to generate fumes, smoke and / or steam from the combustion of material, including but not limited to tobacco, shisha or other plant matter.

C. “Smoke” means inhaling, exhaling, burning or carrying a lit or heated cigar, cigarette or pipe, or any other burning or heated tobacco or plant product intended for inhalation, including water pipes and marijuana, whether natural or synthetic, in any way or by any means Make way. “Smoking” also includes the use of an electronic smoking device that produces an aerosol or vapor in any way or form, or the use of an oral smoking device to circumvent the ban on smoking in this policy.

DD “Tobacco product” Means any substance that contains tobacco leaf, including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, hookah tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco, diving tobacco, bidis, blunts, clove cigarettes or other tobacco preparations; and any product or formulation of substances containing biologically active amounts of nicotine that is manufactured, sold, offered for sale or otherwise distributed with the expectation that the product or substances will be introduced into the human body by inhalation ; However, it does not contain products specifically approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of nicotine or tobacco addiction.

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 prematurely from smoking-related illness if smoking continues at current rates. Passive and active tobacco consumption is a significant health risk. Adopting a tobacco-free policy aligns our practices with our community-wide health and wellness goals. Not only does it protect non-smokers from second-hand smoking, but it also encourages cessation of harmful tobacco use and reduces the impact of the tobacco epidemic.

Politics is the culmination of many years of collaboration among many university members with the primary goal of promoting health and well-being on our campus and in our community. More than 2,000 colleges and universities across the country are already tobacco-free and smoke-free locations.

Why was smokeless tobacco banned?
The prohibition of all tobacco use, not just smoking, is in line with our community-wide commitment to health and wellbeing and encourages student, faculty and staff recruitment. According to a recent study, completely smoke-free jobs are linked to a 3.8% reduction in smoking prevalence and 3.1% fewer cigarettes per day per smoker. Tobacco bans also promote healthy behavior in college-age students – data from the US Surgeon General shows that those who don’t start tobacco by age 26 are most likely never to start.

When does the policy come into force?
August 2, 2021, and it will be in effect at all times (24/7), including nights and weekends.

Where does the policy apply?
The policy applies to all Lehigh University facilities, land and vehicles owned or rented regardless of location, including facilities rented by the university for use by the university or for other commercial use.

Smoking and the use of tobacco products is not permitted in any confined space, including, but not limited to, all offices, classrooms, laboratories, hallways, toilets, meeting rooms, common areas, sports venues, event venues and private living spaces, common areas within university apartments. Smoking is also prohibited outdoors on all university campus properties including, but not limited to, parking lots, paths, fields, sports / recreation 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, faculties, staff, and others on campus, regardless of the purpose of their visit.

What changes will I notice on campus due to the new policy?
Previously, smoking was allowed some distance from the building entrances. Now, tobacco use, including the use of smoke-free products, is not permitted in any campus area, including outdoors. Ashtrays will be removed and new signage will be implemented to serve as important reminders.

What if I have tobacco on myself and take it off campus to use? Is this a violation of the tobacco-free campus policy?

How is the policy enforced and what are the consequences of violating the policy?
Enforcement is treated as a management problem for the faculty or staff, or as a behavior problem for a student.

Where can I find more information about the policy?
The policy will be posted on the website later this summer.

Where can I find resources on how to quit tobacco?
Students can contact the Health and Wellness Center and use the resources provided by Counseling & Psychological Services (UCPS).

Eligible faculties and staff have a range of tobacco / smoking cessation resources available from Lehigh’s health and wellness providers. This includes prescription drugs, psychological counseling, coaching, and much more. For a full list of options, see the Human Resources website.

More resources:
LVHN tobacco treatment program
Smoking cessation groups (article from Wfmz.com)
CDC resources on smoking cessation
American Heart Association resources
American Lung Association Resources

Where can I find additional data and information on the impact of tobacco-free communities?

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