Life @ TU


Health and Wellness

Smoke-Free Campus Policy

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Towson University’s smoking policy?

Towson’s smoke-free policy prohibits smoking in all buildings and on all exterior grounds owned or operated by Towson University, including the athletics precinct, Bill Bateman’s restaurant, parking garages, bus shelters and open spaces. The policy took effect August 1, 2010. It aims to reduce the health risks associated with exposure to secondhand smoke, reduce health costs associated with smoking, and ensure that all members of the campus community have access to clean air.

Who does the policy affect?

The policy applies to anyone who is on property owned by Towson University, including students, faculty, staff, contract/other employees, visitors, volunteers, contractors and service representatives.

How is this policy being communicated to campus groups and to potential visitors?

Efforts to publicize the Smoke-Free Towson policy began in fall 2008 with a series of ads informing the campus of the impending policy. Throughout the fall, the policy was presented to groups of campus stakeholders for review, including the SGA, URG, University Senate and Towson University Staff Council. In addition, four open forums were held on campus in February 2009 to present the policy and obtain feedback from students, faculty and staff. These open forums and the policy itself were communicated via campus-wide e-mails; daily digest announcements; information on the TU website and in university marketing materials; Towerlight articles; and notifications in campus newsletters, event tickets, contracts and other print materials. Throughout the 2009-2010 and subsequent school years, the policy continued to be communicated through ads and announcements in multiple campus publications as well as display boards in buildings across campus.

Policy communications are ongoing beyond the implementation date and include ads, posters, banners, e-mails, Daily Digest messages, Web spotlights, Web ads, tabling, public announcements, and policy information cards. Permanent signs are also posted at designated points in and around campus identifying Towson University as a smoke-free campus.

Who do I contact if I have additional questions about the policy?

Additional questions or concerns on the Smoke-Free Towson policy should be addressed via e-mail to smokefree@towson.edu. We will respond to all e-mail inquiries within a timely manner.


Boundaries

Are there designated smoking areas on campus?

Effective August 1, 2010, Towson University is a smoke-free campus. Smoking areas/shelters are not designated on university grounds. Please see the smoke-free campus map to identify the campus boundaries and the shaded area in which smoking is not allowed.

How do smokers know what is not University property?

The university does not own the sidewalks and streets that border its campus. For example, on Towson’s campus, the sidewalks on York Road, Burke Avenue, Towsontown Boulevard, Osler Drive and Cross Campus Drive are not Towson University property. Everything within these streets is university property and is covered by the smoke-free policy. Additionally, all Towson University property surrounding the Centre for the Arts, the Towson Center, and the General Services building is covered by the smoke-free policy.

Is Unitas Stadium smoke-free?

Yes. Unitas Stadium, including both the interior of stadium and the university grounds surrounding the stadium, are within the campus boundaries and are thus designated as smoke-free by the policy.

Is the Towson Center smoke-free?

Yes, no smoking is allowed within or outside of the Towson Center in accordance with the smoke-free policy. The sidewalk surrounding the Towson Center and the adjacent parking lot are Towson University property and subject to the policy as well.

Are university parking ramps, parking structures, bus shelters and parking lots smoke-free?

Yes. All parking structures, bus shelters and parking lots that are on university grounds are covered by the smoke-free policy.

Are recreational facilities such as Schuerholz Park, Burdick Field and the practice field smoke-free?

Yes. All recreational facilities including Schuerholz Park, Burdick Field and all practice fields are included in the smoke-free policy.

Are the Towson University Marriott Conference Hotel and Bill Bateman's smoke-free?

Yes. The hotel and Bill Bateman’s restaurant are on Towson University property and thus covered by the smoke-free policy. This includes the pedestrian bridge to and from the hotel.


Cessation and Education Programs

Where can I receive assistance in quitting smoking?

Students, faculty and staff can receive assistance in smoking cessation and education through the Dowell Health Center. The Health Center offers smoking cessation assessments and nicotine replacement therapies, as well as smoking cessation classes in partnership with the Baltimore County Health Department. Maryland’s Smoking Stops Here website provides all citizens of Maryland with information on how to receive personalized quit support and free cessation medicine. The TU Wellness Center website provides information on the health effects of smoking.

How should I respond if a staff member expresses interest in quitting smoking?

Support them in taking the first step toward quitting and let them know there are many free resources available to them through the Dowell Health Center and Maryland’s Smoking Stops Here.

Will programs be offered to provide smokers with cessation support?

Smoking cessation programs and consultations are offered on campus through the Dowell Health Center. Addiction counseling for students is also available through the Counseling Center. A 24-hour quit line is offered through Maryland’s Smoking Stops Here website.


Signage

How should people know that Towson University is a smoke-free campus?

Signage indicating that Towson University is a smoke-free campus is posted at key points across campus, including the entrances to campus parking lots, the entrances to campus buildings, on visitor pay stations, in campus tailgating lots, at campus loading docks, at university events, and at other key points across campus.

How was sign placement identified?

Sign placement around campus was determined by the Smoke Free Task Force in conjunction with representatives from Facilities Management.


Enforcement

 

How is the policy being enforced?

The university’s primary goal is to achieve voluntary compliance with the smoke-free policy by educating students, faculty, staff, and visitors about the policy and providing smoking cessation assistance to faculty, staff and students who seek it. That said, enforcement is often necessary to aid in the adoption of a new policy, and there will be an enforcement agency monitoring compliance with the policy. Any faculty, staff, student, or visitor who does not comply with the policy is subject to the disciplinary actions listed below.

Faculty and staff who violate the policy are subject to a $75 fine and progressive disciplinary procedures in accordance with the university’s Human Resource policies. Supervisors will be notified of violations and will assist in the discipline process.  Supervisors are expected to remind individuals of the policy and seek cooperation with compliance. 

Students who violate the policy are subject to a $75 fine and disciplinary action through the Office of Student Conduct and Civility Education. 

Visitors who violate the policy will be informed that Towson University is a smoke-free campus. Visitors who continue to violate the policy following a warning will be escorted off-campus.

Who will enforce this policy?

The policy will be monitored by the entire campus community using informational cards and the smoke-free reporting form. In addition, specific university staff authorized to issue smoking citations include any persons employed by the university to enforce this policy, University Police and Housing & Residence Life staff.

What should I do if I see someone smoking on university grounds?

Faculty, staff and students who see individuals smoking on university grounds are asked to inform these individuals politely that university policy prohibits smoking anywhere on university grounds. This can be done verbally through conversation, or by handing the smoker one of the policy reminder cards available at the Dowell Health Center, residence hall community centers, the Office of Human Resources, and the University Union Information Desk. Individuals who do not feel comfortable approaching someone violating the policy can submit the area and type of violation to enforcement staff using the smoke-free reporting form available below. Individuals should not contact the Towson University Police Department to report a violation of the policy.

Citations

How do I pay a citation?

Citations are processed through the Bursar's Office in the same way as tuition statements and other university bills. You will receive an eBill notification in your Towson e-mail account, after which you can pay the fine online, in person or through the mail. Additional information about payment options, accepted forms of payment and fees assessed on late payments is available on the Bursar's Office website

What is the process for contesting a citation?

To contest a smoking citation, the citation recipient must put in writing their reasons for contesting the citation and send it along with their name, Towson ID number and the citation number within 25 calendar days to:  Smoking Citations Review Panel, c/o Administrator Jerry Dieringer, Housing & Residence Life, Towson University, Towson, MD  21252.  The information will be reviewed by the smoking citations review panel and the person will be informed of the panel’s decision either by e-mail or in writing. All decisions are final.

Who is on the smoking citations review panel?

The Smoking Citations Review Panel is comprised of the following members:

  • Student representative appointed by SGA

  • Staff representative appointed by TUSC

  • Faculty representative appointed by the University Senate

  • Administrator appointed by the Vice President for Administration and Finance and the Vice President for Student Affairs

How does the review panel work?

The panel reviews each citation and the written information from the individual contesting the citation. Based on this information, the panel will decide to either uphold the fine or overturn it.  The cited person may choose to appear before the panel. The administrator on the panel will only vote if necessary to break a tie vote of the panel.

The Administrator will convey the panel's decision to the cited person in writing, either by letter or e-mail.  If the decision is to uphold the fine, the cited person must pay the $75 fine within 10 calendar days of receiving the decision. The decision of the panel is final. There is no appeal of the panel’s decision.


Rights

 

What about individual rights?

Prohibiting smoking on campus preserves everyone's right to breathe clean, smoke-free air while allowing adults who smoke to continue to do so off-campus. This decision supports the rights and privileges of both smokers and non-smokers alike.

 

 Isn’t this a violation of my civil rights?

No; there is no “right” to smoke under either state or federal law. In addition, the Board of Regents for the University System of Maryland and Towson University have the authority to regulate the use of university property.

 

Faculty/Staff Concerns

 

How should managers/supervisors talk to employees about the policy?

It is recommended that managers/supervisors inform all employees of this policy and seek their cooperation with compliance both in writing and in person. Supervisors are expected to communicate the university’s smoking cessation assistance opportunities to interested employees. 

 

What should managers/supervisors do if one of their employees violates the policy?

Violations of campus policy should be routed through the established progressive discipline process.

 

I supervise several employees who smoke. How will they manage under the new policy?

Should they choose to do so, employees may use their allotted work breaks to travel off-campus to smoke. However, employees will not be given additional break time for smoking. Supervisors must be clear with employees on this matter.  

 

 

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