Tobacco Use Policy
Division of Human Resources
Revised July 1, 2010
To ensure that all Rensselaer facilities and properties are tobacco-free in an effort to provide Rensselaer’s faculty, staff, students and visitors with a healthy, respectful working and learning environment. This policy applies to all students, employees, including faculty and staff, visitors, vendors, and members of the President’s Cabinet.
Tobacco Use: The act of using any tobacco product in any Institute facility or outdoor area, including, chewing tobacco, smokeless tobacco, electronic cigarettes (that involve the use of tobacco and tobacco products) and the act of smoking or carrying a lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe or any other smoking material or device.
Institute Facilities: Any facility or property that is owned, leased, used or occupied by Rensselaer, including but not limited to: private offices, lounges, dining areas, recreational facilities, residence halls, storage areas, service shops, garages, tunnels, sidewalks, facilities operations areas, athletic facilities, all institute vehicles (owned or leased), and personally owned and rented vehicles when used to transport Rensselaer faculty, staff or students on any Institute-related business, academic or student life activities.
Outdoor Areas: Any Institute outdoor area that is open to access by the public or campus community, including but not limited to parking lots, sidewalks, athletic fields, lawn areas and any Institute facility entrance or egress.
The preponderance of evidence and the trends reflected in that evidence all indicate that tobacco use, smoking and exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke are significant health hazards. Under the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Guidelines, secondhand smoke is a Group A carcinogen (cancer-causing agent), known to cause heart disease, cancer, respiratory issues and irritation of the eyes and nose.
In keeping with Rensselaer’s desire to protect the health of its faculty, staff, students, visitors, other campus constituencies, and the public in general, it is Rensselaer’s policy to provide a tobacco-free environment in all Institute facilities and outdoor areas in full conformance with applicable statues including the New York State Clean Indoor Air Act (Public Health Law Article 13-E) and Section 31-40(s) of the Connecticut General Statutes.
It is also the policy of Rensselaer to prohibit the sale of tobacco products on campus.
Tobacco use is prohibited in all of Rensselaer’s facilities and outdoor areas.
Organizers of public events on campus are responsible for communicating this policy to attendees.
Responsibilities: Faculty, staff and students have a joint responsibility to share in the enforcement of this policy. Individuals found in violation are to be reminded in a professional and courteous manner of the Institute policy.
Enforcement: Rensselaer reserves the right to initiate the progressive disciplinary process against any individual found to be in violation of this policy. Disciplinary actions may include: verbal counseling and education about the health effects of tobacco use; written warnings; a monetary fine or community service; or other appropriate disciplinary actions in accordance with the Student Handbook of Rights and Responsibilities for students and the Human Resources Policy Guidelines for faculty and staff.
Visitors who violate the Tobacco Use Policy will be informed that Rensselaer is a tobacco-free campus. Visitors who continue to violate the policy following a warning will be escorted off campus.