News for NMU Employees

Tobacco-Free Policy Effective Aug. 1

Northern will become a tobacco-free campus on Friday, Aug. 1. Cigarettes, chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes will be prohibited from all campus areas. The only exceptions to the ban are public sidewalks and roadways that border campus, as well as the NMU Golf Course. 

“The most frequent question is why vapor or e-cigarettes are included,” said Cindy Paavola, chair of the tobacco-free implementation committee. “Most of the peer universities we consulted with strongly encouraged us to include them right from the start.  They pointed out how difficult it is to distinguish when someone is smoking a cigarette versus an e-cigarette, which adds to the already tough job of enforcement. Also, there is so much discussion related to the health concerns and regulation of e-cigarettes at both the state and federal level. And our committee decided to go with banning all tobacco products as defined by the American College Health Association, which includes vapor cigarettes.”

The committee has ordered campus signage that will be installed in advance of Aug. 1 and distributed educational packets for campus departments/offices to share with their stakeholders. It also created a website with related resources and information on fall cessation workshops, which will be scheduled soon. The committee is finalizing the process supervisors and the Dean of Students office will follow for policy violations by employees and students, respectively. Enforcement for employees will include meeting with a supervisor for one to three reported violations and disciplinary action beyond that. Student penalties will follow the student code format for different infractions: warnings for the first two violations and a conduct charge for the third. Visitors seen using tobacco will be notified of the policy. If they refuse to comply, they will be asked to leave campus.

“The process has gone very smoothly,” Paavola added. “There has not been a lot of negative pushback on the initiative to this point. In fact, we’ve received a lot of support from many students, faculty and staff who want to see Northern be a healthier, cleaner place to learn, live and work. But of course, we realize that this is a big change for many within the campus community who use tobacco products.”

The last summer tobacco cessation workshop is at 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 30, at the NMU Health Center. Paavola said additional workshops, which are free, on-campus and facilitated by Marquette County Health Department staff, will be scheduled for the fall semester. Health Center and NMU Health Promotions staff members are also available to meet with students and employees looking to explore options for quitting their tobacco use.

The following email has been established for policy questions or to report violations: