About the Policy

The policyFAQs

The tobacco-free policy

The University of Massachusetts Amherst prohibited tobacco use as of July 1, 2013. For the purpose of this policy, “tobacco” refers to any and all tobacco products, whether inhaled or ingested, as well as electronic cigarettes. The use of tobacco products is prohibited everywhere on campus, inside buildings and throughout the grounds. This policy applies to everyone and anyone on campus, including students, staff, faculty, contractors, and visitors. Visit the campus map to see the main campus property bounderies.

  • The use of tobacco is prohibited in all buildings and vehicles owned or leased by UMass Amherst, regardless of location.
  • The use of tobacco is also prohibited on all university grounds and in any outdoor area controlled by the university. This includes all university land, parking lots and parking ramps, athletic fields, tennis courts, and recreational areas.
  • The use of tobacco is prohibited inside any vehicle located on university grounds.
  • When any person enters the grounds of the university, any smoking material shall be extinguished and disposed of in an appropriate receptacle at the perimeter of the grounds of the university.

This policy does not apply to tobacco used in the practice of traditional, spiritual, religious, or cultural activities (e.g., by Native Americans).  To ensure that such tobacco use, if it involves burning indoors, does not inadvertently activate fire alarms or sprinkler systems or pose threats to public health or safety, prior approval for indoor burning is required from the campus office of Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) to allow for advanced preparations and accommodations.

Exceptions for research purposes require the approval of the Provost or designee. Requests for any other exceptions as may be required by law should be submitted to the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance.


How is the tobacco free policy enforced?

People using tobacco on campus will be informed or reminded to abstain from tobacco use while on campus, and offered resources for abstinence and cessation.

Do tobacco free campus policies infringe upon tobacco-user’s rights? 

There is no guaranteed right to use tobacco. As such, tobacco users are not a protected class. Concern exists for the health rights of the community.

Why not create designated areas for tobacco use on campus?

The goal of a tobacco-free campus policy is to improve health outcomes for all. Designated areas allow for continued exposure to secondhand smoke.

What about e-cigarettes?

E-cigarettes are included in the policy. There is no research to prove its safety and effectiveness as a nicotine substitute. Many consider it as an on-ramp to tobacco addiction.

What should I do if I see a smoker?

All campus community members are asked to comply with the tobacco-free policy. Additionally, it is the community's responsibility to encourage all to comply. If you see someonel using a tobacco product on campus, please inform or remind them of the policy, in a friendly and respectful way.