FAQ

[Download a PDF of the Smoke Free FAQ]

Is Northeastern the first college in Boston to go smoke-free?

No, several institutions in Boston have adopted smoke-free policies, including Wentworth Institute of Technology, Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, the Harvard School of Public Health, and the Boston University Medical Campus. Northeastern is unique, however, for having adopted the policy for all of its campuses: Ashland, Boston, Burlington, Dedham, as well as Charlotte, North Carolina, and Seattle.

Why has the university decided to go smoke-free? 

Northeastern has long embraced policies that promote the health and well-being of the students, faculty, staff, and visitors on its campus. The university joins more than 1,100 other colleges and universities across the nation to have taken this important step to promote the heath of university campuses. Tobacco use is the one of the most significant causes of preventable disease, disability, and death in America; the U.S. Surgeon General has warned that no level of smoking is safe. Current national statistics indicate that about 15 percent of college students smoke, and about half of those students smoke on a daily basis. 

What does this actually mean for the university community?

The smoke-free policy prohibits students, faculty, staff, and visitors from smoking on all Northeastern property, and on all Northeastern campuses. 

What about smoking cessation services for those who smoke?

The university offers smoking cessation services to students, faculty, and staff. Students may take advantage of University Health and Counseling Services’ evidence-based program called Ready to Quit!, and benefits-eligible faculty and staff have access to a number of resources via Human Resources Management. 

When will the policy go into effect?

The policy will go into effect Aug. 12, 2013, ahead of the start of the fall 2013 semester. 

Do smoke-free policies actually work?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, policies establishing smoke-free environments have been shown to be very effective in reducing exposure to secondhand smoke, as well as in reducing daily cigarette consumption among smokers. 

How will this policy be effectively enforced? 

All members of the university community will be encouraged to promote compliance with this policy by reminding students, faculty, staff, and visitors of the prohibition of smoking on all Northeastern property, as necessary. Violations will be taken seriously and may be referred to the appropriate offices for disciplinary action. Members of the Northeastern community may report noncompliance by emailing smokefreeinitiative@neu.edu

Where should I share my questions, comments, or concerns?

Feedback may be sent to smokefreeinitiative@neu.edu. Comments can also be posted to the Northeastern Facebook page, or via Twitter at @NUSmokeFree.

Are e-cigarettes prohibited in the new policy?

No.  The policy does not apply to e-cigarettes (or electronic cigarettes), battery-powered devices that heat a liquid nicotine solution, creating vapor that users inhale.  However, e-cigarettes are regulated in Boston and Seattle by the municipal health departments and prohibited from use in workplaces in those cities, including those on campus.

Are tobacco products that are not smoked, such as chewing tobacco, covered by the new policy?

No.  The policy only applies to tobacco products that are smoked.

Is the use of hookahs permitted on University grounds?

The smoke-free policy prohibits students, faculty, staff, and visitors from smoking on all Northeastern property, and on all Northeastern campuses. The use of hookahs to consume tobacco or tobacco products (including shisha) is not permitted on Northeastern property and grounds.

Are there any designated smoking areas on any Northeastern campuses?

There are no designated smoking areas on any of the campus properties that are owned or controlled by Northeastern University.  In Boston, this includes the sidewalks on Leon Street since it is an internal roadway that is owned by Northeastern.   However, the policy does not apply to city-owned sidewalks and streets including those that traverse or adjoin the campuses.  For example, in Boston, such public sidewalks and streets include Columbus Avenue, Forsyth Street, Ruggles Street and Huntington Avenue