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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

Oct. 10, 2008

An update: Campus smoking ban

by Paula Van Brocklin

The new Iowa Smokefree Air Act and its effect on Iowa State was the topic of a campus forum hosted Oct. 2 by the Professional and Scientific Council.

Angie Jewett, emergency response preparedness coordinator in environmental health and safety, and Keith Bystrom, associate university counsel, reviewed the law with employees and then opened the floor to questions. A brief Q&A from discussion at the forum follows:

Does the smokefree air act apply to smokeless tobacco?

There currently are no state restrictions on smokeless tobacco. However, Ames is one of many cities and communities in Iowa that have smokeless tobacco ordinances.

What should I do if I see someone smoking on campus?

EH&S coordinates compliance of the smoke-free law for Iowa State. Employees who notice a smoking violation may contact EH&S, 4-5359. When filing a complaint, provide your name and a phone number or e-mail address so EH&S can follow up with you. Anonymous complaints will not be logged.

Could I be held responsible for not asking someone to stop smoking on university property?

No. It's helpful to remind people that Iowa State is a smoke-free campus, but employees are not required to do so.

If I can't smoke on campus, where can I smoke?

Smoking may occur in areas outside the perimeters of campus, but only on property where the owner permits smoking. It is OK to smoke on city streets and sidewalks that form a boundary to university property (for example, Lincoln Way or Sheldon Avenue). However, smoking is not allowed on streets within the campus (for example, Union, Osborn and Pammel drives).

People who leave university grounds to smoke should extinguish all smoking materials and place them in the appropriate receptacles before returning to campus. Maps detailing where smoking may occur are available online.

Is there a place for me to dispose of my cigarette butts off of university property?

Facilities planning and management has placed new receptacles in areas where most smoking occurs (there are eight new receptacles along Lincoln Way and Sheldon Avenue). Additional ones will be added as the need arises.

What happens if an employee's work responsibilities are being neglected as a result of going off campus to smoke?

Merit employees who smoke on their breaks should not take longer breaks than allowed. If P&S employees are neglecting work duties because of extended smoking breaks, then the problem needs to be addressed as a performance issue.

As a supervisor, how should I present cessation opportunities to employees who smoke?

It's best to present smoking cessation resources to employees once. Doing it repeatedly may seem like "bullying." Supervisors also may consider posting cessation resources in common areas, such as a break room.

The Student Health Center offers smoking cessation programs for students and employees. See Human resource services also provides other options through employee benefits for those interested in quitting smoking. See


P&S Council open forum answered questions about campus impact of state smoking law.