What is OCU’s policy regarding smoking and other types of tobacco on campus?
Effective Date: May 18, 2008
The distribution or use of tobacco, including smoking and the use of smokeless tobacco, is prohibited on university property, including all indoor and outdoor spaces.
This policy applies to anyone who comes to campus including faculty, staff, students, visitors, vendors, volunteers, contractors, and service representatives.
Oklahoma City University’s policy has adapted over time as information about the effects of tobacco use has changed society’s tolerance for it.
We have gone from allowing smoking in buildings, classrooms and offices to prohibiting smoking inside facilities and from allowing people to smoke outside to prohibiting smoking within 20 feet of building entrances. The new policy is intended to promote a healthy environment by prohibiting tobacco use anywhere on any Oklahoma City University property.
The latest U.S. Surgeon General’s report, “The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke,” concluded that there is no risk-free level of exposure to second hand smoke.
At OCU, we teach and train future scientists and healthcare professionals, and we conduct scientific research. We are keenly aware that we cannot ignore the preponderance of evidence that tobacco use is a threat to everyone’s health, smokers and non-smokers alike. We have visitors to campus, young and old, whose illnesses can be worsened by exposure to smoke. We have children participating in outreach programs on campus. We have prospective students and parents visiting campus. They need to see healthy habits modeled, not unhealthy ones. We have students with full, productive lives and careers stretching out before them when they complete their studies. We have faculty and staff who spend the better part of their days in the work environment. OCU has a responsibility and duty to protect students, employees, and visitors from tobacco’s harmful effects by eliminating its use on our campus.
OCU, as a tobacco-free campus, emphasizes the value we place on health as a quality of life issue. It makes the statement that OCU is a place where we value knowledge gained through study and where we translate research into practice.
A tobacco-free campus will enable students, faculty, staff and visitors to preserve their health by providing an environment where people can work, study, and live free from risks associated with tobacco use. Everyone is encouraged to cooperate with civility and goodwill in complying with this policy. Refraining from tobacco use on campus will make OCU a healthier place to learn, work and live.
A tobacco-free campus policy was requested by students and employees and received the full support of the Student Senate, the Deans Council, Staff Council, and many members of the faculty. This policy is also in line with the social principles of the United Methodist Church. The OCU Board of Trustees approved this policy.
No, all university residences are tobacco-free.
There are no designated smoking areas on campus. Although sidewalks along city streets are noted as city property, we request, as a courtesy to others and in keeping with the tobacco-free commitment of the campus, that individuals refrain from tobacco use on the sidewalks adjoining campus property. For your reference, streets that are city owned, and therefore do not fall under the OCU Tobacco-Free Campus Policy, are:
The remaining streets within the campus were built by OCU or were vacated by the city of Oklahoma City and now are owned by OCU.
The policy is effective May 18, 2008.
Parking garages and parking lots owned or operated by the university are included in the ban.
We expect visitors to the campus to comply with campus policy. You may inform a visitor of the policy and its importance to the campus. Report violations to university event sponsors or administrators.
University parking garages are included in the ban.
Enforcement depends on the cooperation of all faculty, staff, and students not only to comply with this policy but also to encourage others to comply with this policy in order to promote a healthy environment in which to work, study, and live. Accordingly, tobacco users are expected to voluntarily comply with the policy.
Anyone who observes a possible violation may courteously and without confrontation inform the individual of the tobacco-free policy and attempt to offer an information card. The card outlines the tobacco-free campus policy. Those who observe others in violation of the policy may report them to the appropriate department administrator or dean of students for possible disciplinary action.
Great efforts will be made to ensure faculty, staff, and students are aware of the new policy. Individuals who knowingly violate the policy will be referred to the appropriate campus administrative unit for disciplinary action. Students will be referred to the dean of students for possible disciplinary action.
No. Visitors may not smoke on OCU property.
No, the university cannot compel you to quit using tobacco, but you cannot use tobacco on university property. However, if you are interested in quitting, a number of resources are available to help you quit, including the following:
Full-time employees have access to the Work-Life Balance Program, The Hartford, www.guidanceresources.com for consultative and other services to help in balancing work, home, personal or family issues. The OCU personal counseling staff is available to assist students.
Yes, you can use your flex spending account to pay for counseling (by a licensed counselor, M.D., Ph.D., social worker), nicotine gum not covered by insurance, or for co-pays on items that are partially covered by insurance (patches, nasal sprays, inhalers, prescription drugs for smoking cessation, etc.).
Yes, the policy applies to everyone at all OCU facilities, regardless of location.
No. Oklahoma City University has the authority to govern the use of university property and regulate its use.
It is recommended that managers/supervisors discuss this policy with all employees.
Repeated violations of campus policy will be handled through administrative coaching, disciplinary action, and/or the performance review process.
University vehicles are to be used for business purposes only; using a university vehicle solely for the purpose of going off campus to smoke is prohibited.
Simply state, “For the health of our visitors, students, and employees, tobacco use is not allowed on our campus.” You may also want to acquire some Tobacco-Free information cards to distribute.
Yes. Check out upcoming workshops or call Valerie Robinson, Human Resources, 208-5983.
OCU understands that change can be difficult. The following information and resources are available to assist in the transition.
Tips for communicating the policy to guests, faculty, students, staff: