Smoke-Free Workplace

The health and safety of faculty, staff, students and visitors is a priority for Pacific University. Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States. Secondhand smoke alone kills an estimated 49,400 non-smoking adults in the United States ever year. College campuses are communities where people of all ages learn and work. Pacific has a unique opportunity and responsibility to provide a safe community and a foundation for a healthful living long after students leave.

When did Pacific University become smoke free?

The smoke-free campus policy took effect on May 31, 2015, in conjunction with World No Tobacco Day.

What areas of campus will the policy cover?

The new policy applies to smoking anywhere on Pacific University campuses. This includes all Pacific-owned or -controlled properties and events on the Hillsboro, Forest Grove, Portland, Woodburn and Eugene campuses. This policy prohibits smoking on all Pacific University grounds, outdoor areas, vehicles, parking lots, and inside any personal vehicles parked on the property. 

The Hillsboro Campus is a smoke- and tobacco-free campus. Pacific University’s Hillsboro Campus prohibits smoking and the use of tobacco products in or on its Hillsboro premises. This includes all Pacific owned or controlled buildings on its Hillsboro campus, grounds, vehicles, parking lots, and ramps, including personal vehicles parked on Hillsboro Campus property.

Are there designated smoking areas?

No. Providing a place to smoke or use tobacco does not support the university’s goal to create a healthy environment. In addition we are working to eliminate “triggers,” like smoking areas that make cessation difficult. The majority of campuses that designate smoking areas later strengthen their policies to 100 percent tobacco-free. Motivation for doing so includes: increased litter in designated areas, excessive secondhand smoke on campus, difficulties understanding where individuals can and cannot smoke, and expenses associate with setting up and maintaining designated smoking areas.

What other colleges and universities in Oregon have adopted a tobacco-free and smoke-free campus policies?

As of January 2013, at least 1,130 campuses in the United States had a 100 percent tobacco-free campus policy. In the state of Oregon, Corban University, Eastern Oregon University, East West College, George Fox University, Northwest Christian University, Mt. Hood Community College, Multnomah University, Portland Community College, Umpqua Community College, University of Oregon, and Warner Pacific College all have 100 percent tobacco-free campuses. The smoke-free campuses in Oregon include Chemeketa Community College, Oregon State University, University of Western States, and Walla Walla University – Portland Campus. In addition to these other college campuses, the Hillsboro, Woodburn, and Eugene campuses of Pacific are also smoke- and tobacco-free. 

How will this policy impact enrollment?

It is anticipated that the promotion of Pacific University as an active, vibrant, healthy campus community will increase interest in university enrollment. According to Tobacco Free Oregon and the Fresh Air Campus Challenge, no other colleges or universities have identified a decline in enrollment due to implementation of a smoke- or tobacco-free policy. In fact, many colleges and universities promote a healthy and smoke free campus environment as a way of increasing enrollment.

How will the policy be communicated to the campus?

The policy will be communicated through a variety of communication outlets including:

  • Campus Newsletters
  • Student welcome packets
  • Emails to campus
  • A webpage designated to the policy & resources
  • Signage
  • Fresh Air Challenge
  • Local Newspaper Articles
  • Policy information cards

Does this policy apply to smokeless tobacco products?

No, it applies to all tobacco and smoking products, including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and nicotine delivery devices such as e-cigarettes, and any smoked or smoldering substance.

Isn’t smoking a personal right?

Prohibiting smoking use on campus preserves everyone’s right to clean air and healthy lifestyles, while allowing adults who smoke to continue to do so off campus. We are not asking people to quit smoking, but simply stating they may not smoke on University property.

Is the university requiring that people quit using tobacco products?

No. However, we are encouraging current tobacco users to explore this option due to the health consequences of tobacco use. The university is committed to supporting all students and employees who wish to stop using tobacco products with cessation resources. Students, faculty, and staff choosing to continue using smoking products may do so, in areas not owned, operated, leased, occupied, or controlled by Pacific University.

Will the use of e-cigarettes be permitted?

No it will not be permitted. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) describe these as a product that delivers nicotine and other chemicals and they have not been found safe for consumers to use. While e-cigarettes don’t produce the same type of smoke, the research around he health effects to individuals using e-cigarettes and to people around them is limited. Pacific would like to be consistent in prohibiting tobacco and/or similar products to minimize challenges with enforcement.

Does the policy apply to visitors on campus?

Yes. Organizers and attendees at public events, such as conferences, meetings, public lectures, social events, cultural events, and sporting events using university facilities are required to abide by the smoke-free campus policy. Organizers of such events are responsible for communicating the policy to attendees. Information regarding the policy will also be available in all Pacific Facility Use Agreements.

What about the university neighbors?

Pacific asks that our students, faculty and staff help maintain a positive relationship with our neighbors that border campus. We encourage you to respect other’s property by not littering and not congregating in areas to smoke and thus creating a cloud that others must walk through. We will be reaching out to our neighbors and informing them of the upcoming policy and encouraging open communication if a problem arises.

How will the policy be enforced?

We are an institution of higher education therefore education is key to implementing this policy. We make people aware of the smoke free environment through electronic messaging, signage, notices in event programs and marketing. An explanation of the smoke-free campus policy is communicated to prospective and enrolling students as well as new employees. Additionally, we ask event planners to include information about the policy in materials distributed to all outside groups that use university facilities. Enforcement is a shared responsibility with the entire university community. The expectation is that persons will voluntarily comply with the policy. It is the responsibility of everyone on campus to politely inform others of the policy and ask that they cease using tobacco products on campus. Policy education cards will be available to assist with compliance.

If I see someone smoking on campus, what should I do?

With the utmost courtesy and respect, remind the person that Pacific University is a smoke free campus. Business card-sized referral cards will be available to distribute to those who are using tobacco on campus. We recognize that not everyone will feel comfortable approaching users, but we encourage all faculty, staff, and students to assist with compliance and communication.