The policy prohibits the use of any smoking and tobacco related products while on Metropolitan State campus property and requires compliance with the policies in place at any of the university's leased facilities. That means inhaling, exhaling, burning or carrying any lighted cigarette, e-cigarette, cigar, pipe or other such device that contains tobacco or other smoke-producing products will be prohibited in all areas of the Saint Paul Campus.
The new policy comes nearly two years after the university created designated smoking areas on its Saint Paul Campus.
In keeping with Metropolitan State's tradition of embracing diversity, exceptions will be made in accordance with the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act, MS 144.4167, which allows tobacco use in traditional Native American ceremonies, scientific studies and theatrical productions.
The university will be partnering with the Association for Nonsmokers – Minnesota using strategies to not only communicate the new policy, but to offer resources and cessation options for smokers and tobacco-users who want to quit.
Before May 1, signs will be posted around Saint Paul Campus, serving as a reminder that smoking is no longer allowed on any areas of the property. With the new 100 percent smoke-free policy, Metropolitan State will join the ranks of 11 other MnSCU colleges and universities that classify themselves as 100 percent smoke- and tobacco-free.
A 2011 survey of university students revealed that two-thirds (66.7%) of nontobacco users and about one in four (24.0%) of current tobacco users agree (to strongly agree) that the campus should implement a smoke-free policy prohibiting smoking both indoors and outdoors. The survey also showed the then-current total rate of tobacco use for students to be 26.1%, with 11.6% of students using tobacco on a daily basis.
Metropolitan State University, a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, is America's premier university for lifelong learning, providing unsurpassed, competitive academic and professional degree programs at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels while maintaining affordability.