Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the academic spine?
The academic spine, or Center Avenue smoke-free zone, is noted in blue below. In addition, no smoking is allowed within 25 feet for an entrance, passageway, operable window or ventilation system of any building on campus.
Tobacco is a legal product. Can it be banned in certain areas?
- It is true that smoking is a legal activity; however, courts have ruled that where smoker and non-smokers’ rights conflict, the right of the nonsmoker prevails.
- State and federal courts have consistently ruled that smoking is not a protected activity under the U.S. Constitution or state constitutions, and smokers are not a protected class.
- The 2006 Colorado Clean Air Act states that smoking policies designed to protect the health of nonsmokers may be implemented “In certain designated public areas and private places.”
- The Tobacco Control Legal Consortium found that there is no constitutional right to smoke, nor are smokers considered a protected category under the Equal Protection Clause in the Constitution.
What are the safe exposure levels and distances to not experience effects from secondhand smoke?
- The Surgeon General has stated that there is no safe exposure to second-hand smoke. The Surgeon General’s 2014 report provides an overview on the most current findings regarding second-hand smoke.
- Stanford University conducted a study finding that outdoor levels of second-hand smoke can reach toxicity levels of indoor smoke.
Why are e-cigarettes included in the policy?
- E-cigarettes are not a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes, and are not an FDA-approved method of quitting tobacco use.
- E-cigarettes are vaporizers that contain nicotine and other chemicals that can be toxic. The CDC has stated, “There is currently no conclusive scientific evidence that e-cigarettes promote long-term cessation, and e-cigarettes are not included as a recommended smoking cessation method by the U.S. Public Health Service.”
- Marijuana vaporizers are nearly identical to nicotine vaporizers, and can be used to deliver very potent forms of marijuana. Any marijuana use on campus is prohibited and against federal law, which includes vaporizers. Institutions that allow the use, possession, or distribution of any federally illegal substance are in violation of the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act and risk losing federal funding.
- Many campuses with tobacco-free policies include e-cigarettes, especially those who have recently implemented policy. Reasons cited include lack of adequate scientific data, not an FDA-approved cessation device, and the potential that marketing will increase nicotine addiction among young people and prompt initiation of use.
Is cigarette litter harmful to the environment?
Yes. Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the U.S. and the world. They pollute our campus and leach toxic chemicals and carcinogens into the soil and waterways. CSU Facilities Management estimates that it takes more than 12,000 hours to clean up cigarette litter on campus each year, which is the equivalent of 7.3 full-time staff members and $164,000 in annual salaries.
What are my options if I want to quit?
This website contains information about quitting options and resources. More information.
For CSU employees:
- United Health Care covers the following drugs with their plan: Chantix, Zyban, Buproprion and Nicotrol. Telephonic wellness coaches trained in tobacco cessation are available; this includes one specified coach, educational materials, online module, tools and trackers. Spanish speaking coaches and language services are also available.
- Kaiser Permanente includes Bupropion SR and XL on their formularies and are covered as preventive care at a $0 cost share. Non-formulary prescription smoking cessation drugs require review and approval, and if approved, the applicable copayment would apply. Over the counter medications are only covered as preventive care at a $0 cost share when purchased at a KP Pharmacy with a prescription. In addition, there are quantity limitations on OTC nicotine replacement products to no more than 16 weeks per member. The OTC nicotine replacement products include nicotine gum, patches and lozenges.
- Anthem offers prescription drug coverage to members who are enrolled in an approved tobacco cessation counseling program.
For CSU students:
- CSU’s student health insurance plan covers up to 8 screening and counseling services visits with a recognized provider per policy year. Services are covered at 100 percent without any copay when performed by an in-network provider. Nicotine replacement therapy is also covered at 100 percent with no copay.
- All fee-paying students have access to sessions with a tobacco cessation coach through the CSU Health Network at no additional charge. Students can also receive free nicotine replacement therapy through the prescription assistance program at CSU if they meet certain income guidelines. Colorado’s QuitLine also offers free nicotine patches.
How do I report a violation of the policy?
- You can fill out an anonymous complaint form through CSU Environmental Health Services.
How do I approach someone who is violating the policy?
- Be friendly, respectful, and non-confrontational: “Hi! Did you know that CSU has changed its smoking policy? We have designated smoke-free areas with receptacles along the boundaries to make it easier for people to comply. If you’re interested in learning more about what parts of campus are smoke-free, just search ‘smoke free’ on CSU’s website.”
Are there any exemptions from the policy?
- Tobacco or other smoking products used as the subject matter of a bona fide research project approved by the Vice President for Research or designate, as appropriate, are exempt from the policy. Tobacco is also allowed for ceremonial use in connection with the practice of cultural activities by American Indians, as provided by the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, 42 U.S.C sections 1996 and 1996a. All ceremonial use events must be scheduled in advance with Facilities or Environmental Health Services.
Why is the Transit Center smoke-free?
- The Transit Center is operated by Transfort, which is a part of the City of Fort Collins. As such, the CSU Transit Center is subject to all city ordinances and guidelines that apply to any public transit facilities. All Transfort public transit facilities, benches, and platforms became smoke-free in 2014.
What is the City of Fort Collins’ smoking policy?
- Fort Collins recently expanded its smoking policy to include Old Town Square, all city owned or operated facilities and grounds, all city parks, trails, and natural areas, and most city-approved events and festivals.
- Other smoke-free areas include:
- Fort Collins restaurants and bars.
- Within 20 feet of outdoor dining areas or patios abutting a public right-of-way or sidewalk.
- Any places of employment, except in locations in which the city code expressly permits smoking.
- Within a 20-foot perimeter outside of the entrances, operable windows, passageways and ventilation systems of smoke-free areas, except for passersby who do not stop.
- Bowling alleys and bingo parlors.
- Transfort’s public transit facilities, benches, and platforms.
- 100 percent of hotel or motel rooms must be smoke-free.
- The use of electronic smoking devices will be prohibited in all places where conventional smoking is not allowed.
- Full policy