The University of Kansas, along with universities nation-wide, promotes a respectful, healthy, environmentally sustainable, and clean environment by being tobacco-free.  This policy sets forth the University’s restrictions on the use of tobacco products and electronic cigarette devices.

Applies to: 

Faculty, staff, students and visitors of the Lawrence and Edwards campuses and all other university sites reporting to the Lawrence campus.

Juniper Gardens
Policy Statement: 

Smoking, including the use of electronic cigarettes or any future product that simulates or approximates tobacco use or smoking, and tobacco use are not permitted on the Lawrence or Edwards campuses, all other university sites reporting to the Lawrence campus, and at the facilities of Student Housing, the Kansas and Burge Unions, Athletics, and the KU Center for Research, Inc. (KUCR).  Any exclusions to this prohibition are noted below.

The University will not advertise tobacco on University owned, operated, or leased property or at any University sponsored event or University owned or sponsored media.

KU is strongly committed to supporting individuals to become tobacco free to encourage a respectful, healthier, and more productive learning/living environment for all members of our campus community.  

  • Tobacco cessation programs and support will be available to faculty, staff, and students as identified below. 
  • FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapy products for the purpose of cessation are permitted.

Cessation Support:

Respect and Responsibility: 

The success of this policy relies on the thoughtfulness, consideration, and cooperation of each individual. All members of the university community share the responsibility of adhering to and enforcing the policy and have the responsibility for bringing it to the attention of visitors. All students, faculty, staff, vendors, volunteers, and visitors are expected to cooperate with this policy.  Individuals are encouraged and empowered to respectfully inform others about the policy in an ongoing effort to support a tobacco free environment, improve individual health, and encourage a culture of respectful cooperation. 

  • University leaders, managers and supervisors are expected to support individuals becoming tobacco free and to promote cooperation in their areas of responsibility and on the larger campus.
  • Student Affairs staff have a special responsibility to promote cooperation among students.

Any complaints should be brought to the attention of the appropriate university authority. Violation of this policy will be addressed through existing disciplinary processes. If conflicts or problems should arise, environmental, safety, and health considerations will prevail. Should disciplinary action be considered, it would be based on the principle of progressive discipline that seeks resolution at the lowest level of correction and escalation to more formal steps for repeat or serious offenses.  

The University’s disciplinary policies and processes to be utilized include the following as applicable:

Handbook for Faculty and Other Unclassified Staff, Section II, D and E

Counseling Process for Staff

Disciplinary Action Policy for Staff

Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities

Kansas Board of Regents Policy for Interference with Conduct of Institution

Exclusions or Special Circumstances: 

Exempted is the traditional or sacred use of tobacco. KU will continue to be a "tobacco honoring" campus for Native American spiritual and cultural ceremonies, when requests are made and approved in advance by the Office of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs. This Tobacco Free Policy will in no way prohibit the use of traditional/ceremonial/sacred use of tobacco or infringe in any manner on any off-campus tobacco cultivation or harvesting for spiritual and ceremonial use.

The policy will not be applicable to tobacco use in personal vehicles.

The University policy does not apply to properties leased by the University where offices occupy a portion of a building not owned by the University.  

The University policy applies to all properties that the University of Kansas leases from The Kansas University Endowment Association. 

Persons who violate the provisions of K.S.A. 21-4009 through 21-40142 may be guilty of a cigarette or tobacco infraction punishable by fines ranging from $100.00 to $500.00.

The university will not discharge, refuse to hire or retaliate against an employee, applicant or customer for reporting or attempting to prosecute a violation of these state statutes.


Individuals may be excluded from campus or subject to appropriate disciplinary action as an employee or as a student for violating the provisions of this University policy.  


Department of Human Resource Management
103 Carruth-O’Leary Hall
1246 W. Campus Road
Lawrence, KS 66045

Approved by: 
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Approved on: 
Saturday, July 1, 2017
Effective on: 
Sunday, July 1, 2018
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)

Tobacco is defined as all tobacco-derived or containing products, including and not limited to, cigarettes (including clove, bidis, kreteks), electronic cigarettes, cigars and cigarillos, hookah smoked products, tobacco pipes, and oral tobacco (e.g., spit and spitless, smokeless, chew, snuff) and nasal tobacco (e.g. snuff, snus). It also includes any product intended to mimic tobacco products, contain tobacco flavoring, or deliver nicotine. However, it does not include Drugs, Devices, or Combination Products approved for sale by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as those terms are defined in the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, used for the purpose of cessation.

Tobacco use includes smoking, chewing tobacco, or using tobacco products such as snuff, e-cigarettes or any future product which simulates or approximates tobacco use or smoking,

“Electronic smoking device” means any electronic product that delivers nicotine or other substances to the person inhaling from the device, including but not limited to an electronic cigarette, e-cigar, e-pipe, vape pen or ehookah. Electronic smoking device includes any component, part, or accessory of such a product, whether or not sold separately.  Electronic smoking device does not include Drugs, Devices, or Combination Products approved for sale by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as those terms are defined in the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

“Smoking” means inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying any lighted or heated cigar, cigarette, or pipe, or any other lighted or heated tobacco or plant product intended for inhalation, including hookahs and marijuana, whether natural or synthetic, in any manner or in any form. “Smoking” also includes the use of an electronic smoking device that creates an aerosol or vapor, in any manner or in any form, or the use of any oral smoking device.

Smoking, tobacco use, chewing tobacco, snuff, tobacco products, electronic, cigarette
Change History: 

04/17/2018: Updated broken link. 
04/05/2018: Moved reference to Student Housing from "Special Circumstances" to main "Policy Statement".
07/31/2017: Correct spelling mistake.
07/01/2017: Policy was approved to be effective July 1, 2018 to move from smoke free to tobacco free environment. The time period until the effective date of the policy will be a transition period during which education and engagement will be emphasized.

Operational Categories: 
Personnel: Affiliates/Volunteers Categories: 
Workplace Rules & Guidelines
Personnel: Faculty/Academic Staff Categories: 
Workplace Rules & Guidelines
Personnel: Staff Categories: 
Workplace Rules & Guidelines
Personnel: Student Employees Categories: 
Workplace Rules & Guidelines

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