Smoking Policy

The Surgeon General of the United States has determined that tobacco smoking is the nation’s leading preventable cause of premature death and disability. Tobacco smoke is hazardous to the health of smokers and non-smokers alike. To promote a safe and healthful campus environment, and in accordance with the Workplace Smoking Restrictions Regulation issued by the City of Boston Public Health Commission, Suffolk University has adopted this policy to encourage smokers to reduce or eliminate their consumption of tobacco, and to protect non-smokers from exposure to tobacco smoke.

Smoking, including the use of electronic smoking devices, is prohibited in Suffolk University buildings including the residence halls. Evidence of smoking includes, but is not limited to, ashes, cigarette butts in water bottles, towels under doors, odors, covering of smoke detectors, etc., and may be considered when determining a violation of the smoking policy.

Smoking is permitted in outdoor areas, 25 feet from the entrance to Suffolk buildings provided the smoke does not migrate back in to an enclosed University building. For example, students may smoke outside University buildings but, if the smoking takes place under a window or surrounding a building entrance, and the smoke migrates back in to the building, it is a violation this policy.

Smoking is also prohibited in outdoor areas where no smoking signs are posted.

Smoking is also prohibited while engaging in online classes as it is distracting to the learning environment and does not reflect expectations of a business setting.

Such policies not only serve to protect the health of the community but, in the case of buildings and residences, can lower maintenance costs such as painting or replacing burned carpeting, as well as reduces the risk of fire. Suffolk University acknowledges that the successful implementation of this policy requires cooperation and mutual respect, and sensitivity on the part of both smokers and non-smokers.

Contact Counseling, Health and Wellness for information about how to stop smoking.

Note on M.G.L. ch 270

The General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Chapter 270 § 22 prohibits smoking within workplaces. This law defines smoking as “the lighting of a cigar, cigarette, pipe or other tobacco product or possessing a lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe or other tobacco or non-tobacco product designed to be combusted and inhaled.” The law therefore restricts all types of smoking, including all electronic smoking devices including, but not limited to, vapes, e-cigarettes, and Juuls.

Further, this section defines a work space as “an enclosed area occupied by an employee during the course of his employment.” All university spaces are specified under this definition, as it provides work spaces are “common work areas, classrooms, conference and meeting rooms, offices, elevators, hallways, medical facilities, cafeterias, employee lounges, staircases, restrooms, cafes, [and] food courts or concessions. . .”