Tobacco-Free MSU FAQs
What is the mission of the MSU Tobacco Free Task Force?
Led by the Office of the University Physician, the task force is guiding campus and community leadership in the development, adoption, implementation, enforcement and evaluation of a tobacco‐free policy at MSU.
Why is MSU pursuing this?
There is a fundamental concern for the health of the entire campus community. Decades of research confirm the negative effects of smoking, smokeless tobacco and second‐hand tobacco smoke. Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death, and tobacco use negatively affects the entire community. Moving toward a tobacco‐free policy aligns with our efforts to create the healthiest academic and workplace environment possible at MSU.
Do we really need a new policy?
A new policy is an effective, cost‐efficient way to protect the health of the campus community and encourage tobacco users to reduce or eliminate consumption, thus increasing life, longevity and vitality. Most tobacco users want to quit, and tobacco‐free environments encourage users to quit and help them maintain a tobacco and nicotine free status.
When did MSU go tobacco free?
The ordinance passed by the Board of Trustees on June 17, 2015, went into effect Aug. 15, 2016.
Will tobacco users be able to use their products anywhere on campus?
No. The new ordinance applies to all property governed by the Board of Trustees and includes not only main campus but also all MSU sites across the state, nation and globe.
Does MSU have programs in place to help tobacco users quit?
How does adopting a tobacco‐free policy help the environment?
In the U.S. alone, a large number of the 280 billion cigarettes purchased each year will end up littering sidewalks, waterways, parks, beaches and public roads. Cigarette butts leach toxic chemicals —including arsenic, cadmium, lead and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons—that could harm bystanders and pollute the environment and ecosystems. They are mostly made of plastic and are only biodegradable under ideal conditions, making them a long‐lasting threat to the environment.
Why would the policy include smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes?
There is no safe tobacco or tobacco-derived product, and use on campus can be a distraction from learning. From a health perspective, it is just as harmful and does not align with MSU’s Healthy Campus Initiative.
Have other universities implemented tobacco free or smoke free policies?
As of April 4, 2016, the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation notes there are at least 1,483 100% smoke‐free campuses. Of these, 1,137 are 100% tobacco‐free, and 823 prohibit the use of e‐cigarettes anywhere on campus.
How can I ask questions or address concerns about the tobacco free task force?
How will the policy be enforced?
It is important to note that MSU leadership is not focusing on this policy from an enforcement perspective but rather from an educational one focused on embracing a healthy culture on campus. However, there will be enforcement mechanisms for students via the campus judicial system and employees via Human Resources.
What can I do if I see people smoking in the same area of campus each day?
If tobacco users are not stopping their use of tobacco when learning that MSU is tobacco-free, you can take a moment to complete the Report Tobacco Use form on the Tobacco Free MSU website.