Table of Contents

Q: Why did the CSU adopt a 100 percent smoke and tobacco-free campus policy?

A: Smoke and tobacco-free policies protect the health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and visitors by eliminating secondhand smoke on campus. Everyone will breathe easier and this will assure equal access for individuals most vulnerable to the effects of secondhand smoke exposure, such as those with asthma and allergies. Additionally, by adopting a 100 percent smoke and tobacco-free policy, it will:

  • Promote clean air, a healthy environment, and healthy behavior choices
  • Save money and staff time spent cleaning cigarette litter by eliminating butts and other tobacco waste on campus
  • Prepare students for smoke-free work environments (e.g. hospitals, K-12 schools, restaurants, etc.)
  • Prevent students from initiating smoking
  • Encourage tobacco users to quit
  • Support those who have already quit using tobacco

Q: What are the health consequences of secondhand smoke?

A: Exposure to secondhand smoke is known to cause death and disease killing over 50,000 non-smokers each year. The Surgeon General of the U.S. has concluded that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke and any exposure to tobacco smoke – even an occasional cigarette or exposure to secondhand smoke – is harmful.

Q: What does smoke and tobacco-free mean? What areas of campus will the policy cover?

A: The Smoke & Tobacco-Free Policy will apply to all University-owned, undeveloped or leased property, including the interior and exterior of buildings; parking lots; vehicles owned, leased or rented by the University or one of the University’s auxiliaries; private vehicles on University-owned, undeveloped or leased property; and CSUCI Park off Camarillo Street. A campus map showing areas restricted from smoking and tobacco-use is available (PDF, 126KB)

Q: Does the Smoke & Tobacco-Free Policy prohibit use of chewing tobacco on campus?

A: Yes. The use of all tobacco products, including smokeless tobacco products like chewing tobacco and snuff, is prohibited on all CSUCI property or in University vehicles.

Q: What about the use of medical marijuana?

A: Possession of a valid medical marijuana card does not permit possession or use of marijuana in campus residential facilities (e.g. residence halls or apartments) or on University property. CSUCI, under Title IV, Part A – Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, does not permit possession or use of marijuana on campus.

Q: Why are electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) not permitted?

A: E-cigarettes have become increasingly popular, though much about the risks associated with them is unknown. Designed in size, shape and color to resemble the real thing, e-cigarettes are actually small, battery-powered vaporizers. The act of inhaling triggers a sensor that causes a tiny heating element to heat up the nicotine cartridge inside, turning the nicotine into an odorless vapor.

Q: Are clove cigarettes permitted?

A: No. The use of clove cigarettes is prohibited by the Smoke & Tobacco-Free Policy. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that smoking clove cigarettes is associated with an increased risk for lung damage. Additional information can be found at the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Q: Hookah smoking is often tobacco-free, so why does the new policy prohibit it?

A: Hookah pipes (also known as water pipes, shisha) have a reputation for being the lesser of evils when it comes to smoking options, and from certain perspectives, this is true. Smoking a hookah doesn’t have to mean smoking tobacco or taking in nicotine, which are common substances associated with smoking. But hookah smoking does have its own dangers – combusted charcoal – which carries health risks even when non-tobacco shisha is used.

When charcoal is burned to create the hookah effect, it releases chemicals in the process, namely carbon monoxide (CO) and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). In addition to inhaling byproducts of the shisha, water pipe smokers also inhale fairly large quantities of these combustion-related toxins – a hidden health risk associated with hookah smoking, even for non-tobacco shisha.

Q: Does the policy also apply to campus visitors?

A: Yes. Organizers and attendees at public events, such as conferences, meetings, public lectures, social events, cultural events, and sporting events using CSUCI facilities are required to abide by the Smoke & Tobacco-Free Policy. Organizers of such events are responsible for communicating the policy to attendees.

Q: Is a Smoke & Tobacco-Free Policy a violation of civil or Constitutional rights?

A: No. There is no Constitutional right to smoke or use tobacco. Tobacco users are not a category protected under the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution, nor is tobacco use a protected liberty right under the Due Process clause of the Constitution.

Q: If I choose to continue to smoke or use tobacco and do not have enough time to step off campus to smoke, what am I supposed to do?

A: The University is aware that nicotine is a highly addictive drug and simply waiting until a long break between classes, lunch-time or after work will be difficult for some. Some may decide to use nicotine replacement products such as gum or lozenges for times that are inconvenient to smoke.

Q: What about enforcement?

A: We are an institution of higher education and education will be key to implementing this policy. We will make people aware of the smoke and tobacco-free environment through signage, electronic messaging, and marketing. An explanation of the new policy will also be communicated to prospective and current students and all University employees.

It is the expectation that the CSUCI community will come together and practice “social enforcement,” which refers to the establishment of a broadly shared norm and value within our community. Members of the CSUCI community will maintain the no smoking or tobacco policy by engaging in direct, honest and supportive communication.

While compliance with this policy is an individual responsibility, members of the campus community should be aware that enforcement of this policy may occur in the following instances:

  • University Police shall reserve all enforcement authority with regards to any violation of existing state and federal laws.
  • Individual agreements that prohibit smoking and proscribe penalties for breaches that are not impacted by the CSU Executive Order (PDF, 126KB) (e.g. student housing license agreements, other residential licenses, or existing leases).

CSUCI will neither encourage nor tolerate hostile interpersonal conduct related to the enforcement of this policy.

If you encounter an employee who violates the policy and disregards your requests to stop, contact Human Resources at 805-437-8490 or

Recurring student violations of this policy should be reported to Student Conduct & Community Responsibility at 805-437-3332 or

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