2008 On-Campus Smoking Survey


In February 2008, the President’s Office received the Student Health Advisory Committee (SHAC)’s request to consider a smoke-free campus policy, including outdoor air.  SHAC members represent groups with positions both for and against a smoke-free campus.  In addition, they gathered information on other campuses that have implemented tobacco-free campus policies, and asked that consultations be conducted to gather additional information.

In August 2008, a work group was created to assess the campus community’s attitudes toward a total ban related to smoking/tobacco. The members include broad student and faculty / staff representation from around the Twin Cities campus.

The work group is embarking on a broad, one-month consultation period on November 12.  We will consult with an extensive list of groups representing faculty, staff, and student constituencies, and will hold at least two open forums, aimed at coordinating campus discussion for faculty, staff, and students.  The purpose of these consultations is to share the survey results, identify issues to consider when determining whether the University should enact a smoke-free policy, and solicit reasons for support or opposition to enacting a smoke-free policy.


Why is the University exploring a smoke-free or tobacco-free campus policy?

In February 2008, the Student Health Advisory Committee (SHAC) raised the idea of such a policy with the President's Office. After discussion with senior leaders, a work group was assigned to explore campus attitudes and support for such a policy.

Is the University of Minnesota going to have a smoke-free or tobacco-free campus policy?

The work group has no preconceived notion regarding the smoking ban issue. Recommendations that come out of the consultation process could range from no change in current practices, to improving enforcement of the current smoking policy for the Twin Cities campus, to adopting a complete ban.

What areas of campus would be impacted by a smoke-free or tobacco-free campus policy?

All indoor and outdoor space on the Twin Cities campus would be smoke-free or tobacco-free under such a policy. Again, a smoke-free or tobacco-free policy for the Twin Cities campus is not a guaranteed outcome of this process.

What other colleges and universities have a smoke-free or tobacco-free campus policy?

Over 160 colleges and universities have such a policy: See list (PDF). In addition, a number of colleges and universities currently are implementing or are in the process of considering similar policies.

If a policy is enacted to ban smoking, will it ban smoking on the entire Twin Cities campus? Will it also ban use of other forms of tobacco?

This has yet to be determined.

Who will be consulted during the consultation process?

The Twin Cities community will be able to participate in broad, campus-wide consultations on December 3, 12-1pm, St. Paul Student Center Theater and December 8, 4-5pm, Coffman Memorial Union Theater. In addition, specific groups will participate in the consultation process, including faculty governance, employee groups, student leadership, groups in the Academic Health Center, and Twin Cities deans.

Who is part of the work group?

The work group has representation from a broad range of Twin Cities campus offices and groups, including the Benefits Advisory Committee, Provost's Office, Office for Student Affairs, Academic Health Center, Environmental Health and Safety, University Services, and the Student Health Advisory Committee. The work group consulted with Boynton Health Service as part of this process.

If the University does implement a policy to ban smoking or tobacco use on the Twin Cities campus, then what is the potential timeline?

A decision will be made about a policy in Spring 2009. If a ban is enacted, then communication about the ban, including additional smoking and tobacco cessation programs, would increase during Summer and Fall 2009, with the ban in effect in January 2010.

How will the University help people to quit smoking and/or using tobacco if a campus ban is enacted?

The University would increase cessation programs and resources available to smokers and tobacco users.

How would a smoke-free or tobacco-free campus policy be enforced?

Most institutions that have adopted a ban depend upon self-enforcement within the campus community.

Survey Presentation

U of MN 2008 Smoking Survey

Survey Comments

The Provost's office has received comments about this proposal — they are organized below into student, faculty and staff, and misc. comment sections.

If you have comments, please email them to Katherine Himes, Assistant to the Provost.

Student Comments



Faculty and Staff Comments



Misc. Comments