Frequently Asked Questions
Why are we adopting this policy? Why are we doing it now?
The move is in accordance with Act 211 from the 2013 Louisiana Legislative Session which calls for public post secondary education institutions to develop at minimum smoke free policies. It is also in agreement with the American College Health Association (ACHA) position statement on tobacco, which acknowledged and supported the findings of the Surgeon General that tobacco use in any form, active and/or passive, is a significant health hazard. ACHA further recognizes that environmental tobacco smoke has been classified as a Class-A carcinogen and that there is no safe level of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), a recognized toxic air contaminant. In light of these health risks, ACHA has adopted a NO TOBACCO USE policy and encourages colleges and universities to be diligent in their efforts to achieve a 100% indoor and outdoor campus-wide tobacco-free environment.
Southeastern has chosen a positive and health directed move forward by choosing a tobacco free policy. Southeastern has adopted the tobacco free policy to encourage tobacco users to reduce or eliminate their consumption, and to protect non-smokers from exposure to tobacco smoke.
How will the policy be enforced?
The success of this policy will depend on the thoughtfulness, consideration and cooperation of tobacco users and non-tobacco users. 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 using tobacco are to be reminded in a courteous manner of the tobacco free policy. Students who violate this policy will be ticketed by University police personnel and referred to the Office of Student Advocacy and Accountability for disciplinary actions as appropriate. Faculty, staff, contractors or visitors who violate this policy will be ticketed, and as appropriate may be reported to the relevant university department/office.
Could I face employee disciplinary action for violating the policy?
Yes. Employees will be expected to adhere to this university policy as they do to all others. Failure to do so will result in appropriate disciplinary action, as it would with any other stated policy.
Can I smoke anywhere on the campus?
Tobacco use of any form is prohibited on our campus. The policy applies to all university property, other properties owned or leased by the university, and all university leased or owned vehicles. The policy also includes property including parking lots, and sidewalks. This policy does not apply to public rights-of-way on the perimeter of any campus location.
If I would like to quit smoking or using tobacco products, how will the university assist me?
University Counseling Center is here to assist you with cessation groups and referrals. You can also try the Louisiana Quitline number 1.800.Quit.Now
Why was tobacco selected versus other health risks to address?
Tobacco is the only product that, when used as intended, leads to serious illness and premature death.
What about Southeastern's neighbors?
Southeastern asks our students and employees to help maintain a positive relationship with our neighbors. Southeastern 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.
Isn't tobacco use a personal, legal right?
Court rulings maintain that tobacco users do not have the legal right to expose others to second hand smoke, a Class A carcinogen, and they are not entitled to protection against discrimination as "addicts".
Will there be an impact on enrollment when the campus goes tobacco and smoke free?
It is anticipated that the promotion of Southeastern University as a beautiful, positive, healthy campus community will increase interest in university enrollment. In general, a Tobacco and Smoke Free Policy is seen as a positive move. Most businesses see increases in revenue when they go tobacco free.
Why do we think sanctions would work now since we have a policy in place stating the smoker should be 25 feet away from a building?
There are reasons why designated smoking areas have been found not to work mainly,
tobacco users don't stay in designated areas, nor does second-hand smoke.
By eliminating smoking areas, SLUPD has agreed to issue citations with a fine to anyone smoking within the confines of campus.
What sanctions will be placed upon visitors, contract workers, etc.? What about "visitors" to our athletic events? Will SLUPD officers be placed outside the football stadium and the basketball arena to ensure that no one lights up? How do we enforce, for example, sanctions against contract workers?
All University sponsored events will have the same policy. With active SELUPD enforcement of the policy, anyone on campus violating the policy will be issued a citation, including campus contract employees.
What other Universities have complete tobacco bans?
A complete list of tobacco and smoke free universities is available online here: http://www.no-smoke.org/pdf/smokefreecollegesuniversities.pdf .
How will this impact other campus locations?
This policy affects all Southeastern campuses and locations. It is the responsibility of all locations to enforce the policy to the best of their ability. All locations should work with the dean, director, or management to ensure they are as close to compliance as possible. This policy does not apply to public rights-of-way (sidewalks, streets) on the perimeter of any campus location.
Does Southeastern provide tobacco cessation services?
Yes, interested individuals can call the University Counseling Center for Cessation Services at 549-3894. Assistance will be provided in locating local cessation services for those individuals who may prefer services closer to their residence.
Why is the use of e-cigarettes on Southeastern's campus banned?
E-cigarettes are nicotine delivery devices just like cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. They operate by vaporizing the nicotine so that it is ready for inhalation. Electronic cigarettes contain carcinogens and toxic chemicals according to the Food and Drug Administration. France, Canada, Brazil, Panama, Uruguay, and Colombia prohibit the use of e-cigarettes wherever a cigarette ban is in place. As of 2011, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has ruled that e-cigarettes are not a medical or a cessation device. They are a nicotine delivery system.
E-cigarettes are prohibited because the impact of their use on secondhand users is not well studied yet. Tobacco is prohibited due to its harmful secondhand impact; e-devices are also prohibited due to toxic substances, such as the propellants that create the vapor in e-cigarettes, regardless of whether the devices also contain tobacco or other drugs. Also, because these devices simulate tobacco use, from a distance it is difficult to ascertain whether they are conventional cigarettes or hookahs or electronic ones. This ambiguity compromises effective enforcement.
Lastly, electronic devices do contain tobacco or other drugs that are prohibited.
But don't e-cigarettes help people stop smoking?
How does adopting a Tobacco Free policy clean up the environment?
- Environmental tobacco exposes bystanders to numerous harmful chemicals.
- Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world. 1.7 billion pounds of cigarette butts are littered worldwide each day.
- Cigarette butts are a fire hazard, increase university maintenance expenses and
- can be eaten by dogs, birds and other animals.
- Filters are non-biodegradable and can take 5-10 years to decompose. Chemicals (e.g. hydrogen, cyanide, arsenic, etc.) in cigarette butts leak into the soil and water.