Frequently Asked Questions

When did MSU go Tobacco Free?

The ordinance passed by the Board of Trustees on June 17, 2015, went into effect August 15, 2016.

Can tobacco users use their products anywhere on campus?

No. The 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?

Yes. MSU is committed to supporting the health and wellness of all members of the campus community and offers numerous resources for those who need help quitting tobacco. Several tobacco cessation programs are currently offered free of charge to students, faculty, staff, and spouses and OEIs of employees. More information can be found on our Cessation Resources page.

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, vaping, 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 January 2, 2020, the American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation notes there are now at least 2,487 100% smoke-free campus sites. Of these, 2,062 are 100% tobacco-free, 2,094 prohibit e-cigarette use, 1,111 prohibit hookah use, 485 prohibit smoking/vaping marijuana, and 541 explicitly include personal vehicles on campus in the policy protections.

Marijuana doesn't contain tobacco, can it be used anywhere on campus?

No. Federal law prohibiting marijuana overrides state law.  Federal law and MSU policy prohibits the possession and use of marijuana on university property. MSU is subject to the Drug-Free Workplace Act and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act.

How can I ask questions or address concerns about the Tobacco Free Task Force?

Questions can be addressed to

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.

FAQ RESOURCE: Additional FAQs (Printable PDF)

Do you have questions, ideas, or suggestions?

Contact the Tobacco-Free MSU Task Force at