Tobacco- and Smoke-free Campus

Adopted Policy 1.4

Policy Purpose

To set forth the University at Albany policy regarding the use of Tobacco and Smoking Products on University Property.

Responsible Office

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, Division for Student Affairs

Responsible Executive

Vice President for Student Affairs

Policy History

  • Date of Permanent Approval:
  • Date of Amendments:

Policy Statement

The University at Albany has a responsibility for, and is committed to, promoting the health, well-being and safety of its students, faculty and staff, volunteers, guests and visitors. Tobacco prevention programs are most effective when supplemented by strong tobacco- and smoke-free policies and when they are incorporated into a broader community effort to reduce tobacco use. In light of this information, the University prohibits Smoking and the use of Tobacco Products on University Property to:

  1. Protect the public health and welfare by prohibiting Smoking and the use of Tobacco Products, including electronic cigarettes, on all University Property; 
  2. Guarantee the right of nonsmokers to breathe smoke-free air, while recognizing that the need to breathe smoke-free air shall have priority over the desire to smoke; and
  3. Encourage a healthier, more productive living/learning environment for all members of the University campus community.

Persons Affected

Students, Faculty, Staff, Third Parties


Electronic Smoking Device is any product containing or delivering nicotine or any other substance intended for human consumption that can be used by a person in any manner for the purpose of inhaling vapor or aerosol from the product. The term includes any such device, whether manufactured, distributed, marketed, or sold as an e-cigarette, e-cigar, e-pipe, e-hookah, or vape pen, or under any other product name or descriptor.

Faculty and Staff are any faculty or staff member of the University at Albany.

Hookah is a water pipe and any associated products and devices which are used to produce fumes, smoke, and/or vapor from the burning of material including, but not limited to, tobacco, shisha, or other plant matter.

Smoking is inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying any lighted or heated cigar, cigarette, or pipe, or any other lighted or heated tobacco or plant product intended for inhalation, including hookahs and marijuana, whether natural or synthetic, in any manner or in any form. “Smoking” also includes the use of an electronic smoking device which creates an aerosol or vapor, in any manner or in any form, or the use of any oral smoking device for the purpose of circumventing the prohibition of smoking in this Article.

Tobacco Product is any substance containing tobacco leaf, including but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, hookah tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco, dipping tobacco, bidis, blunts, clove cigarettes, or any other preparation of tobacco; and any product or formulation of matter containing biologically active amounts of nicotine that is manufactured, sold, offered for sale, or otherwise distributed with the expectation that the product or matter will be introduced into the human body by inhalation, chewing or any other method; but does not include any cessation product specifically approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in treating nicotine or tobacco dependence.

University is the University at Albany, State University of New York.

University Property is property located within the State of New York that is owned, operated, leased, occupied, or controlled by the University at Albany. For purposes of the Tobacco and Smoke-Free Campus policy, this includes but is not limited to all buildings and associated structures (external stairwells, walkways, balconies, etc.), grounds, sidewalks, roadways, walkways, parking lots, and attached parking structures.


  1. Tobacco Use Prohibitions (effective January 22, 2020)
    1. The University at Albany prohibits Smoking and the use of all Tobacco Products on all University Property, regardless of location.
    2. Smoking and the use of Tobacco Products shall not be permitted on or in any University Property including, but not limited to any enclosed place,  office, classroom, hallway, waiting room, restroom, meeting room, community  area, performance venue and private residential space within University at Albany owned or operated housing.
    3. Smoking and the use of Tobacco Products shall also be prohibited outdoors on all University Property, including, but not limited to, the academic podium, walkways, roadways, parking lots, sidewalks, paths, fields, sports/recreational areas, and stadiums, as well as in all personal vehicles while on University Property.
  2. Advertising and Sale (effective February 25, 2019)
    1. In further recognition of the incompatibility of the University’s educational mission and the promotion of Tobacco Products and Smoking, the University prohibits any advertising or sale, or free sampling of Tobacco Products on University Property.
    2. No Tobacco or Smoking-related advertising or sponsorship shall be permitted on University Property, at University sponsored events, or in publications produced or funded by the University.  Advertising in a newspaper or magazine that is not produced or funded by the University and which is lawfully sold, bought, or distributed on University Property is excepted. For the purposes of this policy, "tobacco and smoking related" applies to the use of a tobacco brand or corporate name, trademark, logo, symbol, or motto, selling message, recognizable pattern or colors, or any other indicia of product identical to or similar to, or identifiable with, those used for any brand of Tobacco Products or company which manufactures Tobacco or Smoking products.
    3. No Tobacco Products or paraphernalia or Smoking products or paraphernalia shall be sold or distributed as samples on University Property, either in vending machines, the Campus Center, or any area on University Property.
  3. Exemptions
    1. Smoking devices or Tobacco Products may be permitted under the following circumstances:
      1. Sponsored research involving Smoking devices or Tobacco Products, provided the Principal Investigator for the project obtains the prior written approval of the Vice President for Research and a waiver is requested and granted in accordance with sponsored research requirements, if any. Smoke, like any other laboratory air contaminant, shall be controlled. The designs for designated laboratories must be approved by the University at Albany Department of Environmental Health and Safety.
      2. Tobacco may be used as part of a Native American ceremony with prior written approval of the Responsible University Official for this policy.
  4. Transition Period (effective February 25, 2019)
    1. The University is designating specific areas on its Uptown and Downtown Campuses as temporary smoking areas.
    2. The Use of Tobacco Products and Vaping will be permitted only in these designated areas.
    3. All current federal and New York State laws shall apply in these designated smoking areas and all other areas of Campus.
    4. The University reserves the right to relocate a smoking area if necessary, but will make every effort to maintain the specific number of designated smoking areas for the length of the transition period.
    5. These temporary smoking areas will be eliminated on Tuesday January 21, 2020, when the prohibition on Smoking and the use of Tobacco Products on Campus will take effect.
  5. Compliance and Enforcement
    1. Effective implementation of this policy relies on the courtesy, respect and cooperation of all members of the University community.
    2. The intent and purpose of the policy is to promote a healthy and positive work environment for all employees and the entire Campus community. It will not be used to discipline employees. For the purpose of this policy, all members of the Graduate Student Employee Union (GSEU) will be treated as employees.
    3. If a person is seen using Smoking devices or Tobacco Products on University Property, an individual may inform the user of this policy and request compliance with this policy, and/or the individual may contact:
      1. The appropriate Office of Human Resources when the concern is related to a University Faculty or Staff member.
      2. The Office of Community Standards, or a designee of the office, when the concern is related to a student.
      3. The Office of Facilities Management when the concern is related to a University design or construction contractor.
      4. The appropriate venue manager when the concern is related to a user or guest of a University venue.
      5. University Auxiliary Services (UAS) when the concern is related to UAS contractors and visitors.
    4. If the violator’s name or affiliated entity name is provided, the appropriate office, as set forth above, will contact the violator or affiliated entity about the Tobacco and Smoke-free Campus policy and request future compliance with the policy.
    5. Repeat violations by the same individual will result in referral to the appropriate above named office for smoking cessation counseling and/or enforcement of the University’s Community Rights and Responsibilities.
    6. As with all University matters, the University Police Department (UPD) should only be called for assistance if a potential violation of New York State and/or federal law (such as threats of violence, actual violence or property damage) may be occurring in conjunction with a potential violation of this policy. UPD can be reached at 518-442-3131 (or 911 from an on-campus phone).
  6. The policy shall be effective February 25, 2019.


There are no procedures associated with this policy.