Smoking has given way to vaping these days, but like smoking, vaping is prohibited on campus.
Since 2008, ETSU has been a tobacco-free campus, whether it be cigarettes, cigars, electronic cigarettes or other forms of smokeless and smokeable tobacco.
ETSU is bound by Tennessee laws that prohibit tobacco use on campus and federal laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Vocational Rehabilitation Act.
Faculty, staff and students are all held to the same standards when it comes to following ETSU’s tobacco-free policy on campus.
“Faculty can’t smoke on campus, just like students can’t,” said former SGA President Doretha Benn said. “They can only smoke in their car with the windows rolled up most of the way.”
The policy states that “smoking and all other tobacco usage is permitted only inside private vehicles,” and applies to any building or area owned by the university.
“I agree with our policy because secondhand smoke is just as deadly as firsthand smoke,” Benn said. “If you would like to smoke, do it in your car where it doesn’t affect anyone else.”
According to the enforcement policy, those who violate the rules will be reported to Public Safety. Employees will be sent to Human Resources, and students will be sent to Student Affairs.
“To my knowledge, we only have one person who gives out citations for smoking on campus,” Benn said. “I am not really sure what the punishment is for smoking on campus, but I think the fine should be raised in order to do whatever we can to enforce this policy and get people to stop smoking.”
The College of Public Health provides information through their Tobacco Policy Research Program. They provide publications and links to studies on various usages.
“If you get busted with alcohol, you get fined and have to go through alcohol training, so why not do the same for smoking?” Benn said.
ETSU relaunched a campaign in 2014 with the American Cancer Society called The Great American Smokeout, a program that encourages millions of Americans to quit using tobacco and embrace a healthy lifestyle.
Students and faculty to members who smoke on campus, even in their cars, can also cause littering; parking services charges a $10 fee.
“We have one of the most beautiful campuses in Tennessee, so I’m not sure why people would want to throw cigarettes onto [campus] and litter,” Benn said.