Tobacco use is the leading cause of premature and preventable death, responsible for more than 440,000 deaths a year in the United States. Tobacco addiction begins almost exclusively among youth and young adults making college and university campuses a critical target for tobacco use prevention and cessation efforts. The compelling scientific findings, as summarized by the United States Surgeon General and the Environmental Protection Agency, indicate that the simple separation of buildings into “smoking” and “non-smoking” sections does not eliminate the unequivocal health risks that result from Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS).
Electronic smoking devices, e-cigarettes, have not been fully studied, 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. Additionally, it is not known whether e-cigarettes may lead young people to try other tobacco products, including conventional cigarettes, which are known to cause disease and lead to premature death.
In light of the clear health hazards associated with smoking for smokers and non-smokers alike, the University of Wisconsin- Madison adopted a SMOKE-FREE POLICY effective April 8, 1991. Based on input from the campus community and experience with the original policy, the UW-Madison SMOKE-FREE POLICY was reviewed and amended in 1995, 2011, and 2016.
This policy covers any individual within a university building, facility, or vehicle.
Smoking of any material is prohibited in all buildings, facilities, and vehicles owned, operated, or leased by the University of Wisconsin-Madison except as outlined below. Smoking includes the burning of any type of lighted pipe, cigar, cigarette, or any other smoking equipment or the use of electronic smoking device including, but not limited to, an electronic cigarette, cigar, cigarillo, or pipe.
The experience on most campuses is that smoke-free air laws are usually self-enforcing. The majority of the community wants to do the right thing and follow the law. Employees who violate this policy may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including discharge. In addition, students and employees may be personally liable for consequences, including but not limited to damages resulting from smoking. Students who violate this policy may be subject to disciplinary action as specified in UWS Chapter 17 and 18. Local law enforcement officers have the right to enforce Wisconsin’s smoke-free air law. Forfeitures for individuals violating the law are $100-$250.
The Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration will have responsibility for periodic review of the UW-Madison Smoke-Free Policy including to: