Frequently Asked Questions - Tobacco Free Community

Q: Why is Loyola University a Tobacco Free University? 

A. The health and safety of faculty, staff, students, and visitors is a top priority for Loyola University New Orleans. In 2014, the Surgeon General of the United States declared that tobacco use remains the nation’s leading preventable cause of premature death and disability (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2014). Additionally, there is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2006). To promote a safe and healthy learning and work environment, Loyola University New Orleans adopted this Tobacco Free Community 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 (Kessler, Witt, Barnett, Zeller, Natanblut, Wilkenfeld, and Schultz, 1996). Consider the facts:

  • Cigarette smoking has been identified as the most important source of preventable disease and illness and premature death worldwide (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2004).
  • 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 (Cokkinides, Halpern, Barbeau, Ward, and Thun, 2008).

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- cigs heightens the likelihood of people using other tobacco products, E-cigs are harmful to brain development, defective e-cigs can cause fires and injuries, and E- cigs are often used with another form of tobacco thus increasing, not decreasing, nicotine intake (Lam, Nana, Eastwood, and Asian Pacific Society of Respirology, 2014).

Q: What areas of campus will the Policy cover?

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

However, although the new Tobacco Free Community Policy does not cover public rights-of-way surrounding Holy Name of Jesus School on Calhoun Street and Cromwell Place, Louisiana Act 581, effective June 9, 2014, forbids smoking within 200 feet of public or private elementary schools. Therefore, smoking is prohibited at Holy Name of Jesus School and near its surrounding streets.

Q: How will the Tobacco Free Community Policy be enforced?

A:The success of this Tobacco Free Community 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 Tobacco Free Community Policy. Loyola University New Orleans reserves the right to initiate disciplinary procedures against any individual found to be in violation of this Tobacco Free Community Policy. LUPD officers will enforce the Tobacco Free Community Policy and can issue citations that would result in a fine; Student Conduct can also issue fines to students ($50 for a first offense, $100 for a second offense, and $150 for all subsequent offenses).

Ultimately, for any issues related to the Tobacco Free Community Policy, students will go through a process governed by Student Conduct, while 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” (Fox, 1988).

Q: What are the penalties for violating the Policy?

A:  LUPD can issue a citation to any faculty, staff, or student in violation of the Tobacco Free Community Policy; Student Conduct can also issue fines to students in violation of the Tobacco Free Community Policy. The fine for violating the Tobacco Free Community Policy will be $50 for a first offense, $100 for a second offense, and $150 for all subsequent offenses. 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 the dean. Supervisors and deans will then take necessary action to deal with the violation based on current university policy. Student violations will be reported to Student Conduct.

Q: Loyola enforces its entire campus as tobacco‐free instead of designated smoking areas. Why a restrictive Tobacco Free Community 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 (Roszkowski, Neubauer, and Zelikovsky, 2014).

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 Tobacco Free  Community  Policy. With active LUPD enforcement of the Tobacco Free Community Policy, anyone on campus violating the Tobacco Free Community Policy will be issued  a citation, including campus contract employees.

Q: What other universities have complete tobacco bans?
         A: See the list of tobacco and smoke-free universities.