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MT Tobacco-Free

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the Tobacco Free policy go into effect? 
January 1, 2012 

Why have a tobacco-free campus environment? 
Middle Tennessee State University is committed to providing a healthy working and learning environment. The purpose of this policy is to reduce harm from secondhand smoke, provide an environment that encourages persons to be tobacco-free, establish a campus culture of wellness, and promote a tobacco-free future. 

Whom does this policy affect? 
This policy applies to all faculty, staff, students, contractors, vendors, and visitors. 

What is prohibited in the policy? 
The policy applies to all forms of tobacco products including, but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco and snuff, as well as smokeless electronic cigarettes and other similar devices. 

How will students, employees, visitors, and vendors know of the new tobacco-free policy? 
We are an institution of higher education, and education will be key to implementing this policy. We will make people aware of the tobacco-free environment through posters, signage, notices in event programs, and advertising. An explanation of the tobacco-free policy will also be included in materials distributed to all outside groups that use university facilities. 

May I smoke in my personal car? 
Yes. The policy makes allowances for tobacco use in a personal vehicle.

Will there be cessation programs available for students, faculty and staff? 
Yes, MTSU is committed to providing assistance to all students, faculty and staff who want to quit using tobacco. Cessation information and programs can be found by visiting the Tobacco Free MT website (www.mtsu.edu/tobaccofree). 

How will MTSU address compliance of this policy? 
The process of achieving a tobacco-free environment takes time and patience. MTSU believes that self-enforcement will become part of the norm and the value of compliance will become recognized as it has with seat belt laws. Students, faculty, staff and visitors will come to recognize the value of the policy and will choose to comply. 

Compliance with this policy is the shared responsibility and the right of all MTSU staff, students, and faculty members. The success of this policy depends upon the courtesy, respect, and cooperation of users and non-users of tobacco products. Any member of the MTSU community may respectfully ask individuals to comply with this policy and/or report non-compliance when appropriate. Anyone who observes a possible violation may inform the individual of the tobacco-free policy. Repeat violations of the policy will be handled through already-established procedures. 

Why was tobacco use selected versus other health risks? 
Tobacco is the only product that when used properly, as intended, leads to serious illness and premature death. Cigarette smoking has been identified as the number one cause of premature illness and death. 

What areas of campus will the tobacco-free policy cover? 
The policy covers all MTSU-owned or leased property. This includes all grounds, vehicles, and buildings owned or leased by MTSU, including off-campus properties. 

Why prohibit smokeless tobacco? 
Use of smokeless tobacco products also leads to disease and death. Because there is no safe tobacco product, the logical option is to promote a campus that is tobacco-free. In addition to causing direct health hazards, smokeless tobacco use contributes to institutional cost in other ways, including cleaning and maintenance costs. 

Why are e-cigarettes included in the ban? 
E-cigarettes look similar to cigarettes. Enforcement of the tobacco-free policy is easier when no determination must be made regarding whether or not a cigarette device contains tobacco. Additionally, use of items that appear to be tobacco products detracts from an environment promoting tobacco-free lifestyles.

We are not requiring any individual to stop using tobacco. Members of the MTSU community are still free to use tobacco in their personal vehicles or at off-campus locations. MTSU is just excluding its use from the public spaces we all share. 

How can MTSU exclude tobacco from state-owned public property? 
State law already prohibits tobacco use inside its buildings and on some of its grounds. University policies have also previously excluded alcohol use and weapons possession on its property. 

Will MTSU assist with the cost of tobacco cessation aids? 
Most tobacco users will find that the money they save from not buying cigarettes or smokeless tobacco will cover the cost of tobacco cessation aids. However, Campus Pharmacy will be discounting the price of over-the-counter nicotine replacement products for the 2011-2012 academic year.