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SEC-028: No Smoking or Vaping

Date: 10/09/2008 Status: Final
Last Revised: 11/28/2022
Policy Type: University
Oversight Executive: Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Executive Vice President and Provost, Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Executive Vice President and Provost, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Applies To:

Academic Division. (Medical Center refer to separate Policy No.0005.)

Reason for Policy:

To provide faculty, staff, students, and visitors with a smoke-free, vapor-free environment in which to work and learn while protecting them from the potential health hazards from exposure to smoke or vapor. In addition, the prohibition on smoking assists the University in its compliance with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 62 and the Virginia Indoor Clean Air Act.

Definition of Terms in Statement:
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS):Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and vaping devices that are battery-operated devices designed to deliver nicotine and other additives to the user in an aerosol. The cartridges contained in these devices contain a mixture of liquids, which may include propylene glycol, glycerol, nicotine, and chemical flavorings.
  • Smoking:The carrying or holding of any lighted pipe, cigar, or cigarette of any kind or any lighted smoking equipment or the lighting, inhaling, or exhaling of smoke from a pipe, cigar, or cigarette of any kind.
  • Vaping:Drawing in and exhaling an aerosol, commonly called vapor; the act of using an electronic cigarette.
Policy Statement:

Smoking and using Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) by faculty, staff, students, and visitors are prohibited inside facilities owned or leased by the University (including all on-Grounds housing facilities) and in University-owned vehicles. It is also prohibited (1) within 25 feet of all entries, outdoor air intakes, and operable windows; and (2) in any outside area adjacent to a facility whose configuration and/or other physical conditions allow smoke/vapor either to enter and affect the internal environment or to unduly affect the environment of those entering or exiting the facility.

Virginia law prohibits the purchase and possession of tobacco products, nicotine vapor products (e-cigarettes), and alternative nicotine products by anyone under 21 years of age (with the exception of active-duty military personnel).

  1. Responsibilities:
    The Office of Environmental Health & Safety will be responsible for assisting departments, upon request, in the evaluation of designated outside smoking/vaping areas to ensure compliance with this policy. EHS will assist departments and Facilities Management in the determination of appropriate signage to be posted.

    It is the responsibility of all members of the University community to observe this policy and to ensure compliance with the policy by all visitors to the University.

    It is the responsibility of each supervisor, manager, department head, director, dean, etc., to enforce the provisions of this policy in their areas of respective accountability.

  2. Compliance with Policy:
    Failure to comply with the requirements of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion in accordance with relevant University policies as well as prosecution in accordance with state and federal law.

    Questions about this policy should be directed to Environmental Health and Safety or Total Rewards.


Issues of non-compliance should be reported to the facility’s building coordinator. For instances where there is no designated building coordinator, issues of non-compliance should be reported to a manager.

Policy Background:

Previous version of this policy contained in a memorandum issued by the provost dated 2/20/1989.

Major Category:
Safety, Security and Environmental Quality
Next Scheduled Review:
Approved By, Date:
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, 06/09/2006
Revision History:

Updated Reference in Related Information 11/28/22; Added Note 5/29/20; Updated 11/22/19; Revised 11/11/16; 10/13/15, 4/29/14, 9/3/08. Updated 1/18/07.