Tobacco Free

Tobacco Free Policy FAQ's

The Q&A’s below are intended to help explain the details of the Cleveland State University  (CSU) tobacco free campus policy.

When does the tobacco free campus policy start?
The new policy will be effective with the start of the CSU fall semester 2013.

What is a Cleveland State University facility?
A CSU facility is defined as any facility or property that is owned, leased, used or occupied by CSU, including but not limited to: classrooms, restrooms, auditoriums, offices, lounges, dining areas, recreational facilities, storage areas, service shops, garages, walkways, thoroughfares, facilities operations areas, athletic facilities, extension locations, all CSU vehicles (owned or leased), and personally owned or rented vehicles when used to transport University faculty, staff or students on any school-related business, academic or student life activities.

Who does this policy affect?
This policy applies to the entire CSU community, including but not limited to: students, employees (faculty, staff, and administrators), trustees, visitors, volunteers, vendors, and contractors who are on property and facilities owned or operated by Cleveland State University.

How does this policy differ from the previous policy?
The previous policy prohibited smoking in buildings and specific areas. The tobacco free campus policy promotes a respectful and healthy environment by eliminating any form of tobacco use anywhere on campus. The previous policy prohibition of smoking within 20 feet of any CSU facility entrance remains effective.

What does “tobacco free” mean?
Smoking or use of any tobacco product will not be permitted in any facility or on the grounds of Cleveland State University. Use of smokeless tobacco, cigars, pipes, bidis, and other tobacco products have been shown to lead to disease and death. Therefore, this policy is designed to include all tobacco products. Because there is no safe tobacco product, the only logical action is to promote a campus that is tobacco free.

What is considered a tobacco product and therefore prohibited by this policy?
Tobacco products include, but are not limited to, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, chew, pipes, cigars, hookah or water pipe smoking, snuff, and snus.


Are outdoor areas covered by this policy?
Yes. All outdoor areas on campus are covered by this policy.  This includes all campus property as well as streets/sidewalks maintained by CSU.

The below are streets/sidewalks maintained by CSU.  Further areas may be defined.

  • E 24th  North of Euclid, in front of Fenn Tower
  • E24th through Euclid Commons
  • E 19th South of Chester, to the campus Police Station
  • E 25th  & E 25th St. Place at plant services
  • The alley adjacent to Mather Mansion through to Chester
  • The walk in front of the student center

Includes all CSU parking lots, surface and garage.

Public streets and sidewalks passing through campus that are not maintained by CSU will not be included in policy enforcement.   The tobacco free campus policy will be enforced on campus areas where CSU buildings over-hang or cover streets and walks.

Current smoking restrictions within 20 feet of any CSU building entrance, including CSU buildings with an entrance from a public sidewalk, remain in effect.

Are there designated smoking areas on campus?
No. There are no designated smoking areas on campus.

Can I smoke in my personal car?
Tobacco use, including smoking in your personal vehicle, is not permitted while on CSU campus premises including CSU open parking lots and CSU parking garages.

Are the off campus extension locations tobacco-free?
Yes. The West Center extended campus in Westlake is included as a tobacco free CSU facility. Non CSU facilities where CSU programs are offered are not included but faculty, staff and students are expected to abide by the smoking and/or tobacco free policy governing the location(s) where such programs are offered.

Are other universities and colleges tobacco free?
Yes. There is a growing trend of over 1,130 tobacco free campuses nationwide and in Ohio. Cleveland State University is proud to be among them.

Cessation and Education Programs

Do employees and students have to quit using tobacco to comply with this policy/
No. The University is not asking anyone to quit. This policy simply means that no one can use tobacco products on the Cleveland State University campus.

Each year, approximately 440,000 people die prematurely of diseases caused by smoking—that is about one in five of all deaths in the United States. An estimated 44.5 million adults in the United States smoke cigarettes and more than 8.6 million Americans currently suffer from at least one serious illness caused by smoking.

What is Cleveland State University doing to assist those who use tobacco and want to quit?
As part of Cleveland State University’s initiative to become a tobacco free campus, a number of tobacco use cessation informational sessions, smoking cessation workshops, and other events will be scheduled prior to the effective date of the tobacco free campus policy and periodically thereafter. Free support services and resources for individuals who would like to stop using tobacco are available on this CSU tobacco free campus website.

Telephone Quit Lines as well as in person counseling resources are available to students, employees and their family members who wish to access cessation counseling. Faculty and staff enrolled in the University’s health benefit plans have access to low cost or no cost cessation counseling and prescription products.


How will this policy be enforced?
Cleveland State University’s primary goal is to achieve 100% voluntary compliance with the tobacco free campus policy by educating students, faculty, staff, and visitors about the policy. Voluntary compliance is strongly preferred; however, it should be noted that the policy will be enforced. Violation of this policy could result in disciplinary actions.

Cleveland State University’s vision for the enforcement of the tobacco free campus policy is one in which a tobacco free campus is viewed as the shared responsibility of all those in the campus community, tobacco users and non-users alike.

While enforcing the Tobacco free Campus policy, campus officials and members of the campus community are encouraged to be friendly and respectful. Discussions about the revised tobacco policy should be brief, educational, and non-confrontational. However, reported blatant and chronic violations are subject to established disciplinary protocols applicable to faculty, staff, and students. Please refer to help with policy compliance page of this website.

What should I do if I see someone smoking or using tobacco on campus?
Members of the campus community who see individuals using tobacco on the CSU campus are asked to inform these individuals politely that CSU policy prohibits tobacco use anywhere on campus grounds.  CSU Tobacco free campus cards with CSU’s tobacco free campus messaging are available at VikeHealth & Well Being Office for handout to anyone observed using tobacco products on the campus. We expect all members of the campus community to treat each other with dignity and respect, support each other, and embrace a spirit of having a healthy living, learning, and working environment.

If I chose to, what should I say to someone I see violating the tobacco free campus policy?
The following are suggested scripted messages others are encouraged to say when encountering someone using tobacco on campus.

Example Script #1
Situation: You see a person using tobacco products on CSU property.
Response: "Hello, my name is _______, and I am an (employee, student) here at CSU. I want to make you aware that we are now a tobacco free campus … meaning that tobacco products are prohibited on our grounds. We would appreciate if you would not use tobacco products while on campus. Thank you for your cooperation."

Example Script #2
Question: "Where am I allowed to smoke?"
Response: "Smoking and other tobacco products are not allowed anywhere on the CSU campus. This policy meant to promote respect for all members of the campus community and better health for our students and employees. If you need to smoke or use tobacco products, you will need to leave the campus grounds although the main traffic thoroughfares through our campus are not included in the restricted areas.

Example Script #3
For Vendors and Visitors: "I'd like to let you know in advance that the CSU campus is a tobacco free environment as of fall semester  2013. Use of tobacco products is not permitted on any property, grounds, or parking areas. Thank you for respecting our policy."

Example Script #4
For registration, pre-admission, and office staff who are speaking to students and families prior to a CSU campus visit: "I'd like to let you know in advance that CSU campus is a Tobacco Free environment as of fall semester 2013. Use of tobacco products is not permitted on any property, grounds, or parking areas. Thank you for your understanding."


Don’t I have a right to smoke on campus?
No. There is no “right” to use tobacco under either state or federal law. Additionally, court rulings maintain that smokers do not have the legal right to expose others to secondhand smoke, a class-A carcinogen, and they are not entitled to protection against discrimination as “addicts” or as “disabled persons. Refer to for further information.

Establishing a tobacco free campus preserves everyone's right to breathe smoke-free air in a cleaner campus environment, while allowing adults who choose to use tobacco to continue to do so off-campus. The University’s policy is based upon respect for others and for the environment and supports the rights and privileges of both tobacco users and non-users alike.

Does the policy prohibit me from bringing cigarettes or other tobacco products to a CSU facility?
No. Only the actual or apparent use (e.g., ‘smoking’ an unlit cigarette) of such products on campus is prohibited.

Why should I comply?
Civility and respect for others are what guide us in establishing and maintaining a tobacco free campus. While this policy may be difficult for tobacco users at first, we hope that all members of the University community will respect each other and the environment.

Faculty/Staff Concerns

What kind of training and communications is being done to make employees and students aware of the new tobacco free policy?
The university’s Department of Human Resources, has developed a Tobacco Free CSU Leader/Supervisor Tooklit on the Help with Policy Compliance page of this website.

How should managers/supervisors talk to employees about the policy?
The tobacco free policy is a quality of life issue for all members of the campus. Managers, deans, department heads and supervisors should inform all employees of this policy and employees are expected to comply.

I supervise several employees who smoke. How will they manage under the new policy?
Should they choose to do so, employees may use their allotted meal or break periods to go off campus to smoke. However, employees will not be given additional meal or break time for smoking. Supervisors must be clear with employees on this matter.

What should managers/supervisors do if one of their employees repeatedly violates the policy?
As with all university policies, violations of this policy should be directed through the progressive discipline process. Please refer to help with policy compliance page of this website.