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Health Promotion and Wellness

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who does the policy apply to?

Any person present on campus, including faculty, staff, students and guests.  

2. Where does the policy apply?

Smoking is now permitted in designated areas only.  Individuals (including guests) are not permitted to smoke in any other area of campus, including in college buildings, in private vehicles on College property, on sidewalks, in parking lots, in recreational areas, and in other outdoor areas.  This policy applies to all events on Lewis & Clark property.   Smoking is also prohibited in college vehicles.   

3. What sort of smoking does the policy apply to?

Smoking consists of burning or vaporizing any substance and then either inhaling or exhaling the product. This includes, but is not limited to, tobacco cigarettes, clove cigarettes, herbal cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, and hookah shisha, vaping and e‑cigarettes. Smoking of illegal drugs is governed by the Alcohol and Drugs policy.

4. Where are the designated smoking areas? 

There are 11 designated smoking areas (DSAs) located across the three campuses.  Click here to see a map of the locations.  All DSAs are marked with a green umbrella. 

5.  When did the policy take effect?

August 23, 2010

6. What’s the rationale for the policy?

Lewis & Clark College takes seriously its obligation to provide a safe, healthy environment for all community members and guests.   The institution acknowledges and supports the findings of the Surgeon General that tobacco use in any form, active and/or passive, is a significant health hazard.    The institution further accepts that environmental tobacco smoke has been classified as a Class-A carcinogen, and that there is no safe level of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. 

A 2008 survey indicated that 73 percent of responding community members (faculty, staff, and students) wanted a change in where people smoke on campus.  The most common complaint was that too many community members are being exposed to second-hand smoke near buildings or along paths of travel.  Thirty-two percent of respondents preferred a change to designated smoking areas, 21 percent preferred the campus go smoke-free, and 20 percent favored stricter enforcement of the smoking policy.

7.  How does this change benefit our community? 

Reducing the amount of second-hand smoke being inhaled in our community will improve our community health.  It also demonstrates our community support for individuals who are extremely sensitive to second-hand smoke due to health reasons (e.g., asthma, other respiratory problems).  We anticipate that many community members will be pleased when second-hand smoke is moved away from common areas. 

8.  I practice a religion that involves smoking in ceremonies or events.  Can I request an exemption?

Individuals may request an exemption from this policy related to cultural or religious ceremonies or events.  All such exemptions must be approved in writing in advance by the Associate Dean of Student Engagement, in consultation with appropriate personnel at each school.  Application forms for such exemptions may be obtained from this office.

9.   How is the policy enforced?

We are asking everyone to help with policy enforcement.  Continually, we want to focus on educating community members about the policy.  If you see someone smoking in the wrong place, please ask them nicely to move.  

If there is a person who has made it readily apparent, through repeated violations and/or repeated  failure to heed requests, that they are not open to complying with this policy, community members may contact  Campus Safety (503-768-7855) for assistance.  In situations where Campus Safety has been involved,  officers will have discretion  as to how to enforce the policy, and will consider  the totality of the circumstance in which a violation occurs.  Officers may issue citations to violators.   A citation will include a $25 fine.   Fines have been rare.  

10. How do you handle employees who violate the policy?

Consistent with the answer to question #9, our first response will be educational.  We want employees to be aware of the policy and the designated smoking areas.  At the same time, compliance with Lewis & Clark policies and regulations is considered a standard part of job performance for all employees. Repeated failure by employees of the College to abide by these policies and procedures will normally be addressed through discussion between the employee and his or her immediate supervisor (e.g., clarifying this policy, outlining available resources and helping the employee to develop a strategy for compliance) and, if necessary, disciplinary action.  


11.  Do community members really need to confront a smoker who is smoking in the wrong place before calling Campus Safety?

Yes.   It is the responsibility of our entire community to change our culture regarding where people smoke.  We ask that everyone play their part.

12. How many times should a community member confront someone before calling Campus Safety?

While we don’t have a specific number it might look this:  If a smoker is smoking in the wrong place, we encourage you to ask them to move.  If they don’t move and their smoke is bothering your health, we suggest you ask them to move again.  If they still don’t move, we encourage you to contact Campus Safety. 

Alternatively, if you ask someone to move, and they don’t—but it isn’t bothering your health—we ask you to make a mental note of the situation.  If it continues in the future and the person refuses to move, we encourage you to contact Campus Safety.

If at any point in the process the smoker adopts a belligerent attitude when you ask them to move, we encourage you to contact Campus Safety.

13.  What should community members expect when they call Campus Safety?

Campus Safety will ask where and when the situation has occurred and for a description of the smoker.  They will also ask if you, or someone else, has asked the smoker to move.  If you have not asked the smoker to move, they will tell you that you need to do so as a next step.  Because Campus Safety staff are responsible for a wide range of safety issues on campus, they may not always have staff who can respond to a concern about a smoker.  When you call, Campus Safety staff will try to let you know whether a staff member can respond. 

14.  What guidelines will Campus Safety follow in deciding whether to issue a fine?

There is an assumption that individuals who are smoking in the wrong places are not aware of the  policy.  Campus Safety staff will adopt an educative stance as a first step, asking individuals to comply with the  policy.  When it becomes clear that an individual knows of the policy and has repeatedly ignored requests to move their smoke, Campus Safety officers responding to this situation will often issue citations, based on their analysis of the situation at hand. 

15.  Will Campus Safety officers enforce the policy as they go about their business on a day-to-day basis, i.e., when they’re not responding to a complaint? 

Campus Safety staff will, on a time-available basis, ask smokers who not complying with the policy to move.  In this way, they will function similarly to other community members.  Individuals who do not comply with Campus Safety requests to use a DSA may be issued a citation.

16.  Why are fines being assessed as a means of enforcing the policy?   Isn’t this discriminatory?

The decision to adopt fines as a means of enforcing the new smoking policy was debated by the workgroup of faculty, staff and students who were charged with leading the transition.  That group was aware that fines may not be an effective means of shaping the behavior for individuals to whom the $25 fine is meaningless.  That being said, the workgroup needed an intervention that could be applied to faculty, staff, students and guests.  It’s our expectation that fines will be used very infrequently.  We are counting on the community as a whole to embrace and enforce this policy without heavy reliance on intervention from Campus Safety.  

17.  How do I appeal my fine?

Persons cited for violating the policy may submit a written appeal to the Smoking Fine Appeals Team within one week of the citation.  After a brief adjudicative procedure, the appeals team (consisting of the Director of Campus Safety, an employee and a student) may sustain, dismiss, suspend, or reduce the fine.    Appeal forms are available online and in the Campus Safety Office. 

18. Does the new smoking policy apply to incense?  

No, the smoking policy does not govern the use of incense.   Incense is addressed under a different policy that relates to students living in residence halls.  That policy states:  “Burning candles, sage, incense and other like substances inside or within 25 ft. of any campus building is prohibited” (Settling In, 2010, p. 22).

19.  I’m thinking about quitting smoking.  What cessation resources are available?

It’s always a great time to think about quitting smoking!

Many cessation resources are available for students and employees.  Visit the cessation page for details.