Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


When did the tobacco-free policy go into effect? At the start of the Spring 2015 semester (1/1/2015).


What does tobacco-free mean? The use of tobacco products of any kind is prohibited on all University Campus grounds.


What areas of campus will the smoke-free and tobacco-free regulation cover? Smoking and the use of all tobacco products will be prohibited on all university-owned properties, including the Boca Raton, Davie, Ft. Lauderdale, MacArthur and Harbor Branch campuses). The policy includes, but is not limited to, all recreational facilities, residential facilities, and parking lots and garages.


Why is FAU going smoke-free and tobacco-free? This policy is about creating healthier campus environments for our students, staff, faculty, and visitors. It is intended to foster greater respect for one another and provide a healthy environment for all of the FAU family.


What is considered a tobacco product and therefore prohibited by the policy? Cigarettes, E-cigarettes, cigars, snuff, snus, water pipes, pipes, hookahs, chew, and any other non-combustible tobacco product.


Why are e-cigarettes included in this policy? The FDA has the authority to regulate e-cigarettes as a tobacco product. For more information on e-cigarettes: e-cigarette Regulations


Can I smoke in my car? No. Tobacco use in vehicles that are on FAU-owned properties is prohibited under the new policy.


Why doesn't FAU provide designated smoking areas on campus? Providing a place to smoke does not support the university's goal of creating a healthier environment. In an effort to support all members of the university community, the Owls Care Health Promotion office has expanded its tobacco cessation programs as well as its nicotine withdrawal support (NWS) programs for tobacco users who are not ready to quit and wish to use nicotine replacement therapies while at work.


Will FAU offer resources for students, faculty and staff who want to quit using tobacco? Yes. FAU is committed to helping students, faculty, and staff manage or overcome their tobacco use. Nicotine replacement therapies are available at the FAU Pharmacy on the Boca Raton campus. The following resources are available to FAU students, faculty and staff:


  • Individual, free cessation sessions are available through the FAU Office of Health and Wellness Education. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 561-297-1048.
  • Low-cost nicotine replacement therapy and pharmacotherapy also are available for order and purchase at the FAU Pharmacy on the Boca Raton campus. Call 561-297-0072 for more information.
  • The Florida Department of Health offers a toll-free Quitline, 1-877-U-CAN-NOW (1‑877-822-6669), and a website (, with free resources in English and Spanish. Counselors are available 24 hours a day.
  • The American Cancer Society offers a toll-free phone line, 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).
  • Visit for additional resources
  • For individuals who want to quit "cold turkey" without medical treatment of their nicotine addiction, find helpful resources at


I am interested in tobacco treatment resources, but am not an employee or student at FAU. What resources are available to me?

FAU values the health and well-being of everyone who uses our facilities. If you use tobacco products and would like to quit, discuss with your physician or other health care provider which of the approaches may work best for you. A variety of resources to help stop using tobacco are available, if you choose to do so. See the Resources Section of the Training Manual - Section 4: Resource Numbers and Links. Since there is a cost for some of the tobacco cessation products, not all of them will be available free of charge to staff, faculty or visitors. The Office of Health and Wellness Education will be able to direct you to places to receive help.


Can visitors purchase cessation products on campus? Yes.  Cessation products can be purchased at the FAU Pharmacy on the Boca Raton campus. Call 561-297-0072 for more information.


Is secondhand smoke really a problem? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found secondhand tobacco smoke to be a risk to public health and has classified secondhand smoke as a group A carcinogen, the most dangerous class of carcinogens. Most recently, the Surgeon General of the United States concluded that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke and establishing smoke-free environments is the only proven way to prevent exposure. 12


What is third-hand smoke and is it dangerous? Third-hand smoke describes the toxins that build up over time and remain after the visible smoke has dissipated from the air. It coats the surfaces which are exposed to cigarette smoke (clothing, hair, room walls). Studies have identified carcinogen formation from third-hand smoke (A few of the chemicals that have been found on surfaces after smoking include  nicotine,  cyanide,  radioactive polonium-210, lead,  arsenic, butane, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and butane. (


Are other colleges and universities going tobacco-free and smoke-free? As of January 2014, there are at least 925 campuses that are 100 percent Tobacco-free, including residential housing facilities, where they exist. ( Institutions of higher education are supporting tobacco-free environments for multiple reasons, including:

1.   protecting the health of faculty, staff, students, and visitors

2.   supporting faculty, staff and student preferences for tobacco-free environments

3.   keeping campuses clean

4.   reducing fire hazards.


What If I am not ready to quit? After the policy has been adopted by the university, there will be no tobacco use on the FAU property at any location. Smokers will have to abstain from using tobacco during their time on campus.


What happens if I violate the regulation and use tobacco on campus? Employees and Students: First-time offenders will receive a warning. The Notice of Violation will provide you with information on resources available to help you manage your tobacco use and/or resources if you are ready to quit.


Why are there no receptacles or ash trays by areas where people tend to smoke more? Since tobacco products are not allowed anywhere on campus, placing ashtrays, butt receptacles, or trash cans sends the wrong message. By placing receptacles for butts, it implicitly says that smoking or tobacco use is encouraged there. This would be inconsistent with our policy. Rather, the goal is to promote compliance with the policy through signage, accessible tobacco cessation classes, positive yet firm scripting, and butt clean up. The university does not encourage or enable tobacco use in any way.


How will the tobacco-free policy be enforced? To ensure compliance is achieved through a universal message via scripting and policy education, Tobacco-free Ambassadors are out on campus to remind students, staff, faculty, visitors, contractors, and vendors to respect the policy. All members of the FAU community are asked to assist with compliance of the policy. We understand that it takes time to gain full compliance with a tobacco-free campus policy. During the spring semester as the policy is being put into practice, we need to regularly remind staff, faculty, students, contractors, and visitors about the policy and to provide information on how smokers can get the help they need to change their behavior. Unless individuals act inappropriately to being informed of the policy and their need to stop the action in violation, they will simply be given information on the policy and getting assistance to deal with their addiction.  Individuals that act inappropriately will be reported to the appropriate supervision body: Students - Dean of Students; Faculty - their supervisor; Staff - their supervisor; visitors - University police; vendors - Facility Planning and Construction.


What happens if I violate the regulation after I have been issued a warning?

Employees and Students:If you violate the regulation a second time, you will be required to attend two smoking/tobacco management/dependence consultations with the Office of Health and Wellness Education (561-297-1048). These classes are intended to help you manage your tobacco use. You may sign up for these classes with Office of Health and Wellness Education by calling their office (561-297-1048). You must register for these classes within 14 days of receiving this notice and complete all classes within one semester of the notice. Failure to comply will automatically be considered a third violation.

Are there any areas on campus where smoking and/or tobacco use is allowed? Employees/Students/Vendors/Visitors:All university campuses are completely smoke and tobacco-free zones and, therefore, there are no areas in which tobacco use is allowed.


Will the University provide resources to help me stop or manage my tobacco use?

Employees/Students/Vendors/Visitors:The University is absolutely committed to providing resources which are available to employees, students and visitors. Please visit for more information.


What should I do if I see someone smoking and/or using tobacco products?

Employees/Students/Vendors/Visitors:You can provide them with education. As you approach the user, you can inform them that FAU is proud to be a Smoke-Free/Tobacco-Free Campus and ask them to please put out the tobacco product. Hand them an informational card if you have one available. Let them know we have resources to help. If they refuse to cease smoking and/or the tobacco use, walk away. Do not get into a confrontational situation. Utilize the online site to report the date, time, and location of the incident, and who you think was involved (student, faculty, staff, or visitor).


Why has the University implemented this Policy?

FAU is committed to creating a healthier campus environment for our students, staff, faculty, and visitors. Further, this is one of many initiatives adopted by the University, which is committed to environmental sustainability.


Who will be affected?  We are asking everyone – faculty, employees, students, family members, visitors, volunteers, performers, contractors, subcontractors and vendors – to support our Tobacco-Free initiative on campus beginning January 1, 2015.

Are you requiring staff and faculty members to quit smoking? No. We are only asking them to refrain from using tobacco products on campus.



 Last Modified 12/14/16