Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Has University made the decision to become a tobacco-free campus?

    No - We are moving towards the goal of being a tobacco-free campus, and we are committed to taking necessary steps that would make lasting positive health impacts on our entire campus community. A tobacco-free policy would help improve the health habits of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors and provide an environment free of litter.

  • Why is UR implementing a smoke and tobacco-free policy?

    UR is committed to providing an environment that is free of known health hazards and encourages healthy habits among students, patients, faculty, staff and visitors. Tobacco is the single largest preventable cause of premature death. Education about tobacco-use and associated health risks can help members of the UR community make more positive health choices. Eliminating second-hand smoke also makes it easier for existing smokers to quit and improves the quality of air for the entire community. In addition, cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world and it costs the university money to clean them up. Smoke and tobacco-free campus policies also significantly reduce campus fires.

  • What are the substantive changes in the policy?

    The Smoke and Tobacco-Free Campus policy applies to all university property, both indoor and outdoor, including university owned vehicles.

  • Who does the policy apply to?

    The policy applies to students, faculty, staff, contractors and any other visitors to campus.

  • What is considered a tobacco product under the policy?

    The policy applies to the use of all types of tobacco use, including but not limited to any substance containing tobacco leaf, including but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, hookah tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco, dipping tobacco, snus , 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 (e.g., vaping or e-cigarettes). The policy does not include any cessation product specifically approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in treating nicotine or tobacco dependence.

  • How will compliance work?

    We expect it will take time to transition to this new policy. Please keep in mind, the focus of the policy implementation is on education and wellness as opposed to strict penalties and enforcement.

    Failure to abide by the policy may result in disciplinary action under the Student Code of Conduct. As the policy implementation progresses, designated employees may help enforce the policy.

    Enforcement of Virginia’s new law, Va. Code section 18.2-371.2(B), effective July 1, 2019, which prohibits possession of any tobacco product, nicotine vapor product, or alternative nicotine product by persons under age 21, any law-enforcement officer may issue a summons for a violation of that law. A court may impose a civil fine or community service hours.

  • Will UR offer resources for tobacco-users who want to quit?

    Yes. In addition to the Smoke and Tobacco-free policy, we are working to offer smoking cessation programs, educational materials and other wellness resources to help people quit. More information about these programs and resources will be available in the coming months.

  • What about smoking cessation tobacco products? Are they allowed on campus?

    Yes. The policy does not apply to any cessation product specifically approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in treating nicotine or tobacco dependence.

  • Are there any exceptions under the policy?

    Not at this time.