Smoke-Free University header art
"" Home button Background button Q&A button Links button "" Contact Us
The University of Michigan will be a smoke-free campus starting July 2011

Supervisor's Toolkit


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the University of Michigan’s Smoke-Free Campus Policy?
U-M prohibits smoking in buildings, University-owned vehicles and on exterior grounds owned or operated by the University of Michigan.  The policy (effective July 1, 2011) expands the university’s long-standing no-smoking policy in campus buildings. It’s part of a comprehensive effort to create an environment that is healthy for all members of our community.
Where can I find the policy statement?
You can view SPG 601.04 (Smoking on University Premises) on the U-M Standard Practice Guide website.
Who does the policy affect?
The policy applies to everyone who is in buildings or on property owned by the university, including students, faculty, staff, contractors, visitors, volunteers, and service representatives.
How was this policy developed?
The Smoke-Free Campus Initiative was broadly announced in April 2009. President Coleman appointed Kenneth Warner, Ph.D., dean of the School of Public Health, and Robert Winfield, M.D., the University’s chief health officer and director of the University Health Service to co-chair a Smoke Free University Steering Committee to develop a plan. Subcommittees were formed to consider issues related to communications, student life, human resources, grounds and facilities, and the impact on University visitors. Participants on the committees represented the three U-M campuses and included local community members. Recommendations were developed based on feedback from more than 1,500 students that participated in surveys, focus groups or serving on one of the five subcommittees. More than 1,000 faculty and staff also participated by taking part in surveys, committee work or focus groups. Town Hall meetings also were held on all campuses where participants addressed questions regarding the policy.
How will the policy be communicated to campus visitors?
Much of our communication effort will be focused on visitors and the off-campus community. Signs will be posted on all campuses, and programs that bring visitors to campus have been included in the implementation planning. Many organizations that bring visitors and spectators to campus have reached out to their subscribers and event goers. Individuals who inquire about renting university facilities for meetings, wedding receptions and other events are being informed of the policy.
How should I respond if a faculty or staff member expresses interest in quitting smoking?
The MHealthy Tobacco Independence Program (MTIP) provides support for faculty, staff and their dependents who want to quit smoking by offering free counseling focused on the most successful methods of ending tobacco addiction. Benefits-eligible university faculty and staff and their spouses or Other Qualified Adults (OQAs) can receive a $100 incentive (before taxes) once they answer a few tobacco questions by phone and complete one of the qualifying MTIP programs.
Is the university requiring that people quit smoking?
No. The university is saying that smoking will not be allowed on university grounds. For those who choose to quit smoking, the university will support them through free smoking cessation programs, low-cost tobacco treatment programs, and incentives through the MHealthy Tobacco Independence Program (phone: 734-998-2193).
Where can students receive assistance in quitting smoking?
A special program for students interested in quitting tobacco is offered at University Health Service. Behavioral counseling and support is free and the over-the-counter nicotine replacement products are available at reduced cost for a limited time. Students interested in quitting can contact the MHealthy Tobacco Consultation Service at 734-998-6222 to schedule an appointment.
Where can I smoke?
Effective July 1, 2011, University of Michigan’s campuses are smoke free. Smoking areas/shelters are not available on university grounds. Smoking will be allowed on sidewalks that border public thoroughfares and within personal vehicles. Smoking is not allowed on sidewalks leading up to university buildings or on pedestrian malls such as the Main Campus diag.
Is smokeless tobacco allowed?
Yes.  Smokeless tobacco products, because they do not produce smoke, are not covered by this policy.
Are university parking structures and parking lots smoke-free?
Parking structures and parking lots owned or operated by the university are included in the ban. Smoking inside private (non-university owned) vehicles located on university property is allowed.
Are recreational facilities smoke-free?
Yes. All recreational facilities located on the University of Michigan campus are smoke-free. Michigan Stadium went smoke-free at the beginning of the 2010 Football Season.
How will visitors know that the University of Michigan is a smoke-free campus?
Signs placed at strategic locations to help visitors understand the new policy. The quantity and locations of the signs will be evaluated over time once the policy takes effect.
How is the policy being enforced?
We are focusing on education and awareness. Posters, signage, notices in event programs and advertising will all contribute to awareness of the expectation of no smoking on campus. An explanation of the smoke-free campus will be included in the orientation program for new employees and in materials distributed to all outside groups that use university facilities.
What if people do not abide by the policy?
For visitors, we believe reminders about the smoke-free campus will be important and we expect compliance that will happen naturally. Employees who habitually disregard the policy will receive counsel from their supervisor in the same way other university policies are enforced. Repeated student smoking violations will be directed to the Office of Student Conflict Resolution ( The Standard Practice Guide that references smoking has been updated to reflect the smoke-free campus. Here is a link to that SPG:
What should I do if I see someone smoking on university grounds?
Faculty, staff and students who see individuals smoking on university grounds may respectfully inform these individuals of the university policy prohibiting smoking anywhere on university grounds. Individuals who do not feel comfortable approaching someone violating the policy can contact the Smoke-Free Environment Coordinator at the Tobacco Consultation Service (734-998-2188).
How should managers/supervisors talk to employees about the policy?
We recommend that managers/supervisors remind employees of this policy and seek their cooperation with compliance. Supervisors are encouraged to communicate the university’s smoking cessation assistance opportunities to interested employees. A Talking Tips document is available to assist in how to approach the topic.
I supervise several employees who smoke. How will they manage under the new policy?
Should they choose to do so, employees may use any allotted work breaks to travel off-campus to smoke. However, employees will not be given additional break time for smoking. The MHealthy Tobacco Consultation Service is available to help smokers identify reasonable strategies if they choose to continue to smoke.


Additional questions or concerns on the Smoke-Free Campus policy may be directed to the MHealthy Tobacco Consultation Service at or to the Smoke-Free Environment Coordinator by phone at 734-998-2188.

University of Michigan logo