Fact Sheet

Tobacco Free Yale Initiative Fact Sheet

Yale has embarked on a journey to join over 1,400 other colleges and universities that are already tobacco free.

The use of all tobacco products is detrimental to health, not only for those who use these products, but those exposed to second and third hand effects.  Yale is committed to improving the world today and for future generations through outstanding research and scholarship, education, preservation, and practice. As an institution of higher education which researches and treats the effects of smoking and tobacco use, Yale recognizes its responsibility to exercise leadership in the promotion of a healthy, tobacco free environment for its community.

The goals of the Tobacco Free Yale initiative are to:

  • create a healthier university community,
  • foster a campus culture in which tobacco users are supported in their quit attempts and
  • become a model for developing a tobacco free campus.

What does it mean to be tobacco free?

Yale seeks to enhance the general health and wellbeing of its faculty, staff, students, and visitors.  To support this commitment, Yale is working towards creating and sustaining a tobacco free environment.

On a tobacco free campus, smoking cigarettes, including e-cigarettes, and/or the use of tobacco products is prohibited in all areas including property leased or owned by the university.

University property includes, but is not limited to, parking lots, paths, fields, sports/recreational areas, stadiums, facilities, buildings, and University vehicles regardless of location.

Who will be affected?

This initiative will apply to all students, faculty, staff, visitors, contractors, and other persons on campus, regardless of the purpose for their visit.

What is considered a tobacco product?

Tobacco is defined as all tobacco-derived or containing products, including but not limited to cigarettes (e.g., clove, bidis, kreteks), electronic cigarettes/smoking devices in all their forms (e.g., cigalikes, aerosol or vapor nicotine delivery devices, commonly known as ENDS- Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems ), cigars and cigarillos, hookah smoked products, pipes, water pipes, oral or nasal tobacco (e.g., spit and spitless, smokeless, chew, snuff).

How will the initiative be enforced?

Since the initiative announcement in 2015, the focus has been educational, supporting and engaging tobacco users to quit. Through continued peer support, leadership oversight, and voluntary compliance, the goal remains to foster behavior and culture change over time.

At this stage of implementation, we are partnering with department champions, operational units, and campus ambassadors to increase community engagement across campus and support the needed culture change for this multi-year effort.

Are there designated smoking areas on campus?

No. There will be no designated smoking areas on a tobacco free campus.  The School of Medicine will remain smoke free with limited designated smoking areas.

Does this initiative apply to New Haven owned streets and sidewalks?

No. However, we do ask those who choose to smoke off campus to be considerate of our New Haven neighbors, dispose of cigarette butts and other litter appropriately and be mindful of second-hand smoke.

What about tobacco users who don’t want to quit?

The Tobacco Free Yale initiative doesn’t require that tobacco users quit, they just can no longer use tobacco on campus. We are aware that nicotine is a highly addictive drug.  We encourage tobacco users to prepare to address nicotine withdrawal symptoms during the work and school day similar as to what would be required when visiting other tobacco free environments or when flying across country.  Nicotine replacement products, like gum, patches, mints or lozenges are encouraged for times when it is inconvenient to smoke. Many of these products are provided free-of-charge to the Yale community.

Isn’t tobacco use a legal right?

While tobacco is a legal product for adult use, state law allows that the university may establish rules regarding tobacco use on its property.

What cessation support is available?

Yale recognizes that quitting tobacco use can be a significant personal challenge, and that cessation programs are an integral component in implementing a tobacco free campus. To encourage and support users in their efforts to quit, Yale offers comprehensive tobacco cessation resources for faculty, students, staff and their family members free of charge.