BOT 406: Smoke and Tobacco-free Policy

Michigan State University (the “University”) is committed to eliminating harmful exposure to smoke, tobacco, and environmental tobacco byproducts and adopts the following smoke and tobacco-free policy.

  1. No person shall (a) smoke, or (b) otherwise use any product derived from or containing tobacco, on any property governed by the Board of Trustees of Michigan State University. Ordinance 29.01.
  2. Products derived from or containing tobacco may not be sold on any property governed by the Board. Ordinance 29.02.
  3. No person shall (a) smoke, or (b) otherwise use any product derived from or containing tobacco, in any vehicle owned or leased by the University.
  4. Notwithstanding the foregoing, all FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapy products are permitted when used for the purpose of cessation. Traditional Native American spiritual, ceremonial, or cultural use of tobacco, including but not limited to possessing, gifting, smoking, combusting (without smoking), and depositing on the ground or in the water, is permitted.  Indoor use requires prior notice.  Traditional Native American smudging using tobacco, sage, cedar, or sweetgrass is also permitted.  Other exceptions to this policy may be authorized by the Secretary of the Board pursuant to guidelines issued by the Secretary of the Board. Ordinance 29.04.


For the purpose of this policy:

To “smoke” means inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying any lighted or heated tobacco or plant product intended for inhalation, whether natural or synthetic. To “smoke” also includes the use with any tobacco or plant product of a pipe or hookah; of any electronic smoking device which creates, in any manner, an aerosol or vapor, in any form; or any other oral smoking device.

“Tobacco-derived or containing products” include, without being limited to, cigarettes (including clove, bidis, kreteks), electronic cigarettes, aerosol or vapor nicotine delivery devices, cigars and cigarillos, pipe tobacco, hookah-smoked products, and oral tobacco (spit and spitless, smokeless, chew, snuff).

Application of Policy to All Persons

This policy applies to all persons on University property, including students, faculty, employees, contractors, sub-contractors, and visitors, and to all persons who use University vehicles. Conspicuous signage will be posted on University grounds to inform the public that the University campus is smoke and tobacco-free. Exceptions to this policy may be authorized by the Secretary of the Board of Trustees pursuant to established guidelines.

Traditional Native American spiritual, ceremonial, or cultural use of tobacco is permitted with prior notice.  To ensure that traditional Native American spiritual, ceremonial or cultural activities do not inadvertently avtivate fire alarms or sprinkler systems and that such use conforms to applicable fire codes, regulations and safety practices, event organizers must submit the Tobacco Use Notification Form-- will notify Infrastructure Planning and Facilities (IPF), Michigan State University Police and Public Saftey, and Residence Education and Housing Services (for use in residence halls)--at least three days before an indoor event involving combusting or burning.  Individual indoor use involving combusting or burning.  Event organizers and/or individuals may submit one form at the beginning of each semester for use that will occur on consecutive days or on a regular schedule throughout the semester.

For such use:

  • Use fire-safe cigarettes.
  • Use deep, sturdy smudge bowls and use away from other combustible materials (including mulch and plants by building entrances).
  • Place used lit tobacco and smoking materials in a non-combustible container with sand, water, or dirt and ensure it is extinguished.  Place container in a safe area outside (i.e. an area away from combustible material and vegetation).  Event organizers or individuals will inform Custodial Services of the location of the container so that it may be disposed of safely.
  • Do not place smoking materials in vegetation (e.g. mulch, potted plants, landscaping, dried grass or leaves).

For use involving open flame or fire:

  • Keep the area within 35 feet of any fire free of flammable material.
  • Ensure there is a fire extinguisher nearby.  Event organizers or individuals can bring their own or request one from IPF.
  • At least one individual should remain in the area for thirty (30) minutes after the fire is extinguished as a fire watch.


University leaders, managers, supervisors, and facilities managers are expected to educate employees regarding this policy and to promote compliance in their areas of responsibility and on the larger campus. University managers and supervisors are also expected to facilitate attendance at University-sponsored programs for employees who desire to become tobacco-free.

Residential community supervisors and Student Life staff are expected to educate students regarding this policy and to promote compliance with it.


The success of this policy requires the cooperation of all members of the University community, not only through personal compliance with this policy, but by encouraging others to comply.

Concerns about smoking and tobacco use should be addressed in the moment whenever feasible. Continued concerns should be referred to the appropriate unit responsible for review and action:

  • Faculty and Employees (including student employees)—issues should be referred to the employee’s supervisor or the employing unit head
  • Students—issues should be referred to residential community supervisors or Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution
  • Contractors and Subcontractors—issues should be referred to the campus unit responsible for monitoring performance under the contract
  • Visitors—issues should be referred to the visitor’s host or to the University Police

Persons who violate this policy will be subject to disciplinary action.

Smoking Cessation Programs and Products

University-sponsored smoking cessation programs are available to assist students, faculty, and employees who wish to quit smoking.

Enacted: 07/16/93

Amended: 08/15/16, 9/10/21

Retired Policy No. 02-09-04