Frequently Asked Questions - Tobacco Free Community

Q: Why is Loyola University New Orleans becoming a Tobacco-Free Campus?

A: The health and safety of faculty, staff, students, and visitors is a top priority for Loyola. In 2010, the Surgeon General of the United States declared tobacco use remains the nation’s leading preventable cause of premature death and disability. Additionally, there is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke. To promote a safe and healthy learning and work environment, Loyola has adopted this policy to encourage tobacco users to reduce or eliminate their consumption, and to protect non-smokers from exposure to tobacco smoke.

Q: Why was smoking selected versus other health risks to address?

A: Tobacco is the only product that, when used as intended, leads to serious illness and premature death.
Consider the facts:

  • Cigarette smoking has been identified as the most important source of preventable disease and illness and premature death worldwide.
  • Smoking-related diseases claim an estimated 438,000 American lives each year, including those affected indirectly, such as babies born prematurely due to prenatal maternal smoking and victims of “secondhand” exposure to tobacco’s carcinogens.

    Source: American Lung Association: http://lungusa.org

Q: What tobacco products does the policy apply to?

A: Loyola’s policy prohibits the use of all tobacco products on campus, including any lighted or unlighted cigarettes (clove, bidis, kreteks), e-cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, pipes, hookah products, any other smoking product; as well as any smokeless, spit or spitless, dissolvable, or inhaled tobacco products, including but not limited to dip, chew, snuff, or snus, in any form (orbs, sticks, strips, pellets, etc.).

Q:  Why is the use of e-cigarettes on Loyola’s campus banned?

A:  Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, are battery-operated products designed to deliver nicotine, flavor and other chemicals. They turn chemicals, including highly addictive nicotine, into an aerosol that is inhaled by the user. E-cigarettes have not been fully studied, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, so consumers currently don’t know: the potential risks of e-cigarettes when used as intended; how much nicotine or other potentially harmful chemicals are being inhaled during use; or whether there are any benefits associated with using these products. France, Panama, Uruguay, and Colombia prohibit the use of e-cigarettes wherever a cigarette ban is in place.  Precautionary steps should be taken with these devices in lieu of their safety because they do mimic smoking cigarettes and could lead to actual cigarette use.

Q: What areas of campus will the policy cover?

A: The new policy applies to all university property, other properties owned or leased by the university, and all university leased or owned vehicles. The policy also covers all university property, including parking lots and sidewalks. This policy does not apply to public rights-of-way (sidewalks and streets such as Freret, Broadway, Calhoun, Pine, and St. Charles) on the perimeter of any campus location.

Q: What about smoking on sidewalks on and around campus?

A: Loyola controls all sidewalks on campus. This policy does not apply to public rights-of-way (sidewalks, streets such as Freret, Broadway, Calhoun, Pine and St. Charles) on the perimeter of any campus location.

Q: How will the policy be enforced?

A: The success of this policy will depend on the thoughtfulness, consideration and cooperation of smokers and nonsmokers. Faculty, staff, and students have a collective responsibility to promote the safety and health of the campus community and therefore share in the responsibility of enforcement. Individuals observed smoking are to be reminded in a professional and courteous manner of the university policy. Loyola reserves the right to initiate disciplinary procedures against any individual found to be in violation of this policy. LUPD officers will enforce the policy and issue citations that include a $25 fine. For any issues related to the policy, students will go through a process governed by the Office of Student Conduct. Staff and faculty issues will be addressed through the Human Resources Department.

Q: How will the policy affect Loyola’s neighbors?

A: Loyola asks our students and employees to help maintain a positive relationship with our neighbors. Loyola believes that the members of its community who choose to use tobacco will do so respectfully by means of keeping litter and smoke away from neighboring properties.

Q: Isn’t tobacco use a personal, legal right?

A: Court rulings maintain that tobacco users 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.”

Q:  What are the penalties for violating the policy?

A: LUPD can issue a citation and fine to any faculty, staff, or student in violation of the policy. The fine will be $25.  Any student, faculty, or staff member engaging in conduct that violates any rule, regulation, policy, procedure, or practice of the university may be subject to disciplinary action.  Any staff violation will be reported to the person’s supervisor and faculty violations will be reported to their dean.  Supervisors and deans will then take necessary action to deal with the violation based on current university policy.

Q:  Loyola will enforce its entire campus as tobacco-free instead if its current designated smoking areas. Why the move to a new, more restrictive policy?

A: There are numerous reasons why designated smoking areas have been found not to work; tobacco users don’t stay in those areas, nor does secondhand smoke.  Current research consistently supports the need for enforcement of the policy in order for lasting change to occur.  Despite Loyola having an enacted smoking policy since 2008, including designated smoking areas, no changes have occurred in the amount of secondhand smoke exposure on campus.

Q:  What sanctions will be placed upon visitors, contract workers, etc.?  What about “visitors” to our athletic events? How does Loyola enforce, for example, sanctions against contract workers?

A:  All university-sponsored events will have the same policy. With active LUPD enforcement of the policy, anyone on campus violating the policy will be issued a citation, including campus contract employees.

Q:  What other universities have complete tobacco bans?

A:  A complete list of tobacco and smoke-free universities is available online here: http://www.no-smoke.org/pdf/smokefreecollegesuniversities.pdf

Q:  Does Loyola provide tobacco cessation services?

A:  Beginning in 2015, Loyola faculty and staff can take advantage of online and telephonic smoking cessation programs and coaching provided by UnitedHealthcare. Also beginning in 2015, select over the counter and prescription smoking cessation medications will be provided to UnitedHealthcare members at no cost.