Rutgers is taking drastic step against all kinds of tobacco products
Rutgers University campuses will join the small handful of New Jersey colleges that have declared themselves as "tobacco free" in the new year, President Jonathan Holloway announced on Wednesday.
The tobacco-free policy has been planned for all campuses – indoors and outdoors – and includes not just cigarettes, but e-cigarettes and chewing tobacco.
Rutgers joins at least a few other colleges and universities in the state, as well as eight Big Ten universities that ban smoking, e-cigarette use and other tobacco product use on campus. Scroll down to see their policies.
As of Jan. 1, 2023, it will apply to all Rutgers students, employees and visitors.
The change updates the existing policy that has prohibited smoking inside and within 30 feet of university-owned and operated buildings — and applies to traditional tobacco products and e-cigarettes, hookah, as well as smokeless tobacco products, like “chew” or dip.
“About 90% of smokers begin by age 18 when many young people are entering college, and most move from experimenting to regularly smoking within a few years,” according to Kevin Schroth, associate professor at the Rutgers Center for Tobacco Studies and the Rutgers School of Public Health.
The center’s research also found that 99% of regular tobacco use begins by age 26.
He said the new policy was aimed to “improve the health of students, faculty and staff.”
A 2021 survey of Rutgers students and staff by the Rutgers Center for Tobacco Studies found about three-quarters of respondents supported the proposed policy.
Schroth also said that it's consistent with Rutgers' policy banning cannabis use, as required by federal law.
“By declaring our campuses tobacco-free, we aim to make our community a healthier place to live, learn and work as we educate smokers about the resources available to help them quit,” Holloway said.
The following is a roundup of current smoking and vape policies at colleges and universities around New Jersey:
Drew University became a smoke, tobacco and nicotine-free campus as of Jan. 1, 2021. Drew prohibits smoking, use of any tobacco and/or nicotine products, and the use of any electronic delivery system, including vaping.
Montclair State University
Since Sept. 1, 2020, use of all tobacco products has been prohibited on-campus, including chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes.
As for enforcement, “Any member of the campus community may ask an individual to comply with the provisions of this regulation.”
Steven Institute of Technology
Smoking, including e-delivery systems such as vape devices, of all substances including tobacco and marijuana, is prohibited at all times on campus, since August 2021.
That includes residence halls, leased housing, outdoor spaces, private offices, balconies, and plazas, and in other outdoor areas owned, operated, leased, or controlled by Stevens and at Stevens-sponsored off-campus activities and events.
New Jersey City University
The campus is a smoke-free environment. Tobacco and marijuana use – including smoking, vaping, and use of Electronic Smoking Devices (ESDs) – is prohibited both inside of its buildings and facilities and also within all outdoor areas controlled by the University and its campus footprint.
Seton Hall University
Smoking is prohibited in all indoor workplaces and places of public access. This includes all academic, residential and administrative buildings, athletic sporting facilities, spectator areas at outdoor events, and dining facilities. Smoking is also prohibited in all University-owned vehicles, shuttle buses, and vans.
On the Glassboro campus, smoking of tobacco products and the use of electronic smoking devices is banned inside and within 50 feet of all academic, residential, service, and administrative buildings.
The Stratford Campus became smoke-free in July 2012. Smoking is prohibited in all University-owned or leased facilities and vehicles.
Kean University has banned smoking in any and all public buildings on campus, private offices, maintenance areas, all state vehicles and in or around the grounds of the Child Care Facility in Campus School North.
Smokers are required to stay a minimum of 3 feet from any building entrance.
The College of New Jersey
It appears as though smoking is banned from inside any campus building, including residence halls and living spaces.
A survey in 2018 showed there was not widespread support for a complete smoking ban across the Ewing campus of TCNJ.
Monmouth University prohibits smoking in all buildings and facilities, including, but not limited to, residence halls, offices, classrooms, laboratories, theaters, gymnasiums, auditoriums and outdoor stadiums and athletic fields. The policy includes vaping, hookahs or any electronic device that can be used for such purposes.
Tobacco smokers are required to stay at least 25 feet from the entrance of any buildings. Smoking of marijuana is prohibited in all indoor and outside areas of the campus.
Smoking - including e-cigarettes - is prohibited in all workplaces and places of public access in University buildings and outdoor spaces within 25 feet of all such buildings.
The policy includes but is not limited to all academic, residential, and administrative buildings, and elevators, athletic sporting facilities; spectator areas at outdoor University events; University-owned vehicles, shuttle buses and vans; dining facilities and bars; theaters and concert halls; and partially-enclosed areas such as archways, weather protected ramps, and tents and outdoor dining areas.
New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT)
No smoking in buildings or within 25 feet of campus facilities, since 2013.
Efforts to widen the smoking restrictions, including e-cigarettes, has come up, regularly, at staff council meetings, including in fall 2021.
Smoking is not permitted in any campus building including the residences. Smoking is permitted in Gazebos and designated areas.
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Smoking is not permitted in any University residence hall, office or academic building.
No smoking inside any campus building.
Ramapo College of New Jersey
Smoking (tobacco, electronic cigarettes and hookahs) is prohibited in all academic, offices and physical plant buildings, college owned vehicles, and in all residence areas on campus. Smokers must be at least 25 feet from the entrance to any campus building when smoking.
Erin Vogt is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to contact an editor about feedback or a correction for this story.