Tobacco-, Smoke-, & Nicotine-Free Policy

I. Preamble

The University of New Hampshire (UNH) joins with the American College Health Association (ACHA) and more than 2000 institutions of higher education in supporting the findings of the Surgeon General that tobacco use in any form, active and passive, is a significant health hazard. UNH further recognizes that environmental tobacco has been classified as a Group A carcinogen by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Considering these health risks, UNH hereby adopts a tobacco policy that is committed to a tobacco, smoking, and nicotine-free campus and prevention, reduction, and cessation actions as they pertain to tobacco, smoking, and nicotine (TSN) use issues.

UNH supports the health goals of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) to reduce the proportion of adults who consume TSN products, and to positively influence our community by helping people remain or become TSN-free. Efforts to promote a TSN-free environment have led to substantial reductions in the number of people who consume these products, the amount of these products consumed, and the number of people exposed to environmental harms associated with use. At the same time, the simple message of “smoke-free” can sometimes be misinterpreted to mean “smoker-free” or “anti-smoker.” Our intent is to institute a policy that respects the rights of people who smoke and those who do not. We acknowledge the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics that an estimated 32 million people who smoke (about 70% of all people who smoke) report that they want to quit smoking completely. We recognize that the implementation of a 100% TSN-free policy will have an immediate effect on our campuses, and therefore have included prevention, education, and cessation initiatives to support the non-use of tobacco products.

II. Policy

In order to protect the health, safety and comfort of University students, faculty and other academic appointees, staff, and visitors, and consistent with state law (RSA 155:64-77), the University of New Hampshire is committed to a policy of prohibiting the use of tobacco products, including but not limited to: cigarettes (clove cigarettes, bidis, kreteks), electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS, vaping), cigars and cigarillos, hookah-smoked products or any lighted or heated tobacco and nicotine products, and non-combustible tobacco products (dip, chew, tobacco substitutes) in facilities and on grounds owned and occupied or leased and occupied by the University (including UNH Manchester & UNH Law). In addition, UNH supports education programs to provide prevention and cessation initiatives to our students, faculty and other academic appointees and staff. This policy supersedes all other TSN policies at UNH.

III. Definitions

“Tobacco Product” means any substance containing tobacco leaf, including but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, hookah tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco, dipping tobacco, bidis, blunts, clove cigarettes, or any other preparation of tobacco; and any product or formulation of matter containing biologically active amounts of nicotine that is manufactured, sold, offered for sale, or otherwise distributed with the expectation that the product or matter will be introduced into the human body by inhalation, ingestion, or absorption; but does not include any cessation product specifically approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in treating nicotine or tobacco dependence.

“Smoking” means inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying any lighted or heated cigar, cigarette, pipe, hookah, or any other lighted or heated tobacco or plant product intended for inhalation, including cannabis (recreational and medicinal), whether natural or synthetic, in any manner or in any form. “Smoking” also includes the use of an electronic smoking device which creates an aerosol or vapor, in any manner or in any form, or the use of any oral smoking device for the purpose of circumventing the prohibition of smoking in this Article.

“Electronic Smoking Device” means any product containing or delivering nicotine or any other substance intended for human consumption that can be used by a person in any manner for the purpose of inhaling vapor or aerosol from the product. The term includes any such device, whether manufactured, distributed, marketed, or sold as an e-cigarette, e-cigar, e-pipe, e-hookah, or vape pen, or under any other product name or descriptor.

“Tobacco Substitutes” means nicotine pods and juices, electronic cigarettes or other electronic or battery-powered devices that contain and are designed to deliver nicotine or other substances into the body through the inhalation of vapor and that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for tobacco cessation or other medical purposes. Products that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for tobacco cessation or other medical purposes shall not be considered tobacco substitutes as defined in this Article.

“Hookah” means a water pipe and any associated products and devices which are used to produce fumes, smoke, and/or vapor from the burning of material including, but not limited to, tobacco, shisha, or other plant matter.


  1. Education
    1. The UNH TSN policy shall be included in the new employee and student orientation program, in the Student Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities, Room & Board Agreement, in admissions application materials and other campus documents where appropriate.
    2. UNH encourages employees and students not to use tobacco products by offering educational information and providing information about TSN cessation resources offered through university departments or offices, health care providers, nonprofit organizations, or other groups.
    3. UNH Health & Wellness, Living Well Services, will provide prevention and cessation programs to students upon request and offer other prevention and education initiatives that support non-use and address the risks of exposure to second and third hand exposure.
    4. USNH health and wellness programs and services will offer prevention and cessation programs to faculty and staff.
  2. Affected Areas of the Tobacco-, Smoke-, and Nicotine-Free Policy
    The TSN-Free policy applies to all University of New Hampshire facilities, property, and vehicles, owned, or leased, regardless of location. Smoking and the use of tobacco products shall be prohibited in any enclosed place, including, but not limited to, all offices, classrooms, hallways, waiting rooms, restrooms, meeting rooms, community areas, performance venues and private residential space within UNH housing. TSN products shall also be prohibited outdoors on all UNH campus property, including, but not limited to, parking lots, paths, fields, sports/recreational areas, and stadiums, as well as in all personal vehicles while on campus. This policy applies to all students, faculty, staff, and other persons on campus, regardless of the purpose for their visit.
  3. Sales and Marketing
    1. Advertisement of all tobacco products or their use shall be prohibited in all University of New Hampshire publications and on all University owned, occupied, or leased properties.
    2. Any sale or free sampling of tobacco products on campus shall be prohibited.
  4. Implementation
    The cultivation of a TSN-Free public health environment is a social process that cultivates shared public health norms over time. This policy relies on the consideration and cooperation of individuals who consume tobacco products and those who do not. All members of the UNH community, including visitors, are asked to observe this policy that begins and remains centered on communication, education, and cessation as the community adapts to the policy.

IV. Compliance

The policy will operate through educational communication and the cultivating of public health norms within a community-inclusive framework with the primary goal of voluntary compliance. Implementation focuses on communication, education, and cessation as the community adapts to the policy over time. The Tobacco, Smoke, Nicotine-Free Task Force will work with campus stakeholders in an ongoing way to address compliance. Oversight is the shared responsibility of all UNH community members who are expected to execute that responsibility in good faith.