The Tobacco Free Campus policy is part of the university’s commitment to creating a healthy campus for all members of our campus community, and is designed to be positive and supportive of overall health and well-being.
The Tobacco Free Campus policy defines tobacco products as including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, pipes, water pipes (hookah), bidis, kreteks, smokeless tobacco, chewing tobacco, snus, snuff, electronic cigarettes and any non-FDA approved nicotine delivery device.
Individuals noticing violations of the policy should strive to be respectful to tobacco users when communicating the policy. Additionally, tobacco users are expected to adhere to the policy and likewise be respectful to ex-tobacco users and non-tobacco users. Enforcement of the policy will be achieved primarily through education, awareness and providing support to those who desire to stop using tobacco products.
Read the full policy language in the university's Operations Manual.
Why Tobacco Free?
A previously standing smoke-free campus policy was instituted in July 2008 and remains in effect as a part of Iowa’s Smokefree Air Act; however, many changes in the tobacco industry, as well as revised federal, state, and local legislation and policy, have occurred since 2008. Most prevalent is the exponential growth of the e-cigarette market. Currently, sales of e-cigarette products are estimated at approximately $1 billion annually and growing. Recent research indicates that the fastest growing user group for e-cigarettes is teenagers, and that while traditional cigarette use is declining in teens, the use of e-cigarettes is growing rapidly.
Higher education peers have not been silent on this issue, with many institutions adopting comprehensive tobacco free policies that include the use of e-cigarettes. Additionally, local and federal governing bodies and industry leaders (such as American Heart Association) support such policies.
A Tobacco Free Campus Will...
- Protect University of Iowa students, faculty, staff, and visitors from unwanted and involuntary exposure to tobacco and passive smoke
- Provide motivation for tobacco users to get help to quit for good
Tobacco Cessation Education and Resources
Student Health & Wellness offers a variety of resources to help students quit tobacco use. Free one-on-one consultations are available for students to receive information on quit aids, overcoming barriers, behavior modification, and relapse. Physicians are also available to discuss medications and provide prescriptions. For more information, see the Student Health & Wellness website.
For Faculty and Staff
liveWELL offers a free one-on-one Health Coach service to assist in tobacco cessation and other lifestyle improvement areas. When working in conjunction with a health coach, UI employees can receive reimbursement for receipts totaling up to $500 for Nicotine Replacement Therapy or other smoking cessation medications. For more information, see the liveWELL website.
For All Campus Visitors
Quitline Iowa – 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669)
Free phone-based cessation counseling for all Iowans is available 24/7 except for the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Independence Day holidays.
Tobacco use is prohibited in all University of Iowa buildings and on all University of Iowa grounds as defined by the Tobacco Free Campus Policy Map. Note that the red and shaded-red overlays represent UI-owned streets or property where smoking and tobacco use are prohibited. (See legend in top right for details.)
Toolkit and Educational Resources
Common Questions About Tobacco Free Campus Policies
No. Iowa law (Smokefree Air Act) identifies the University of Iowa as "school grounds" and as such prohibits individuals from smoking in parked cars on school grounds. Additionally, the Tobacco Free Campus Policy does not allow for tobacco use or e-cigarettes on university property.
Yes. These areas of campus were designated smoke free in 2006 and 2007 respectively, and are now included in the Tobacco Free Campus Policy.
The former smoke free only policy had been in effect since July 2008 after the passage of the Iowa Smokefree Air Act. Many changes in the tobacco industry, as well as revised federal, state, and local legislation and policy have occurred since 2008. Most prevalent is the exponential growth of the e-cigarette market and potential, future regulation by the federal Food and Drug Administration.
Higher education peers have not been silent on this issue, with many institutions adopting comprehensive tobacco free policies that include the use of e-cigarettes.
Prior to 2015, University Housing already prohibited the use of e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco inside university residence halls.
Yes. All recreational facilities including the Hawkeye Recreation Fields and the Macbride Nature Recreation Area are included in the Tobacco Free Campus Policy.
A tobacco free policy sends a consistent health message by not implying that smokeless forms of tobacco are safe. There are no safe forms or levels of tobacco use. The policy promotes and protects the health of all campus members, users and non-users alike.
- Smokeless tobacco contains at least 28 cancer-causing agents.
- Smokeless tobacco can lead to oral cancers, gum disease and increased nicotine addiction (U.S. Surgeon General). Snuff and Snus have been found to increase the risk of cancer, stroke and fatal cardiovascular disease (International Agency for Research on Cancer).
- While marketing of cigarettes is on the decline, marketing of smokeless products has risen 400 percent in the last 20 years (Federal Trade Commission). Marketing of smokeless tobacco products target youth by associating the product with sports and adventure activities, implying that use is part of a healthy lifestyle.
Yes. All parking structures and parking lots that are on University grounds are covered by the Tobacco Free Campus Policy.
The new tobacco free campus policy has expanded the scope from smoking-only (such as cigarettes and cigars) to any type of tobacco delivery system including any non-FDA approved nicotine delivery devices such as e-cigarettes.
There is no smoking or tobacco use allowed within the University Capitol Center. The sidewalk surrounding the University Capitol Center and the adjacent parking ramp are City of Iowa City property and under city jurisdiction.
Yes, the policy prohibits all forms of tobacco and any nicotine delivery device that has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for cessation.
Until and unless the FDA approves a specific e-cigarette for use as a tobacco cessation aid, these will not be allowed on campus, which is consistent with national standards and guidelines.
Yes. Kinnick Stadium, both within the stadium and university grounds and parking lots surrounding the stadium, are within the campus boundaries and are designated tobacco free.
The Iowa Department of Public Health is identified as the enforcement agency for the Smokefree Air Act. In this role, the IDPH will review complaints filed by individuals regarding violation of the law, and respond accordingly to the identified business or organization in violation.
For more information from IDPH or to register a complaint, individuals call 888-944-2247 or visit www.IowaSmokefreeAir.gov.
Campus boundaries are identified on the following maps:
Faculty, staff, and students who see individuals smoking on university grounds are asked to inform these individuals politely that state law prohibits smoking anywhere on university grounds. Using chewing tobacco, e-cigarettes, or other non-FDA regulated nicotine delivery devices is a violation of university policy per the Tobacco Free Campus Policy implemented August 24, 2015.
No. Smoking and tobacco use is not allowed on university grounds. Please see the campus map that identifies the campus boundaries and the shaded area in which smoking is not allowed.
The university’s primary goal is to achieve voluntary compliance with the Iowa Smokefree Air Act and the Tobacco Free Campus Policy by educating students, faculty, staff, and visitors about the requirements of the law and university policy, and by providing tobacco cessation assistance to staff, students, and faculty who seek such assistance.
We intend for enforcement to be a positive initial experience highlighting a healthy campus culture and instilling a culture of peer-to-peer empowerment to remind campus of the Tobacco Free Campus Policy. Therefore, initial efforts will focus on communication and awareness of the policy.
Cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products that are smoked are covered under Iowa’s Smokefree Air Act and are subject to a $50 civil fine with a ticket issued by UI Police.
For e-cigarettes, smokeless tobacco (chew, snuff, etc.) and other products covered under Tobacco Free Campus Policy, enforcement will follow a regular policy violation.
Supervisors may be notified of faculty and/or staff who violate the policy by using tobacco in areas that are designated as tobacco free. Supervisors will be expected to remind individuals of the policy and seek their cooperation with compliance. The university’s tobacco cessation assistance opportunities should be communicated to faculty or staff by supervisors and unit human resources representatives.
Faculty and staff who violate the policy are subject to disciplinary procedures in accordance with university policies.
Students who violate the policy by smoking or using tobacco products are subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the policies and regulations affecting University of Iowa students. Students should be made aware of smoking cessation services as provided by Student Health & Wellness.
Individuals smoking on university grounds—including faculty, staff, students, and visitors—are subject to a $50 fine in accordance with Iowa law and the Smokefree Air Act. Citations may be issued by UI Police if a person does not extinguish smoking material upon request or continues in non-compliance of the law after being warned.
Iowa law requires signage to be posted on all building entrances and exits, in all university-owned or leased vehicles, and at entry and exit points to campus. Sign placement around campus was determined by the policy implementation team in conjunction with representatives from Facilities Management and the Campus Planning Committee.
Signage indicating that the University of Iowa is a tobacco free campus is posted at all building entrances/exits, within parking structures, and at key points across campus. Signage was updated in Fall 2015 to reflect the Tobacco Free Campus Policy.
Additionally new faculty, staff, and students receive information about the policy, as do visitors for athletic events and visitors to UI Hospitals and Clinics.
Congratulate them on the first step towards quitting, and let them know there are many free resources available to them including individual counseling and financial support for nicotine replacement therapy or prescription medication. Students can be directed to Student Health & Wellness and faculty/staff can be directed to liveWELL.