Many within our community are calling for a smoke-free campus environment and a smoke-free work environment. Research demonstrates that tobacco smoke is a health hazard to both smokers and non-smokers. According to the Surgeon General, cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of illness and premature death in the United States. Non-smokers who are exposed to environmental (secondhand) smoke also face an increased risk of illness or disease as there is no safe amount of secondhand smoke – any exposure poses a health risk. The American Cancer Society estimates that secondhand smoke kills 46,000 people per year. A smoke-free campus policy at Pepperdine will reduce health hazards, and encourage healthy living, as well as reduce cigarette litter and the resultant risk of wildfire. As of 2011, nearly 141,000 cigarette-ignited fires occur in the United States each year. E-cigarettes have been an unregulated method of nicotine delivery within polyethylene glycol vapor, and with varied odorants/flavors. This vapor is dispersed locally upon exhalation. Though the health risks associated with this vapor are currently unknown, they are being evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. In the interest of public health and courtesy, the University will exclude this behavior in public settings and treat e-cigarettes as identical to cigarettes.
All Pepperdine University campuses are smoke-free at all times and smoking, including e-cigarettes, is strictly prohibited with the exception of any limited, designated areas where smoking may be permitted for some period while moving toward the goal of a 100% smoke-free campus. This prohibition includes but is not limited to the interior of University facilities, outdoor areas, and undeveloped property, as well as in any vehicle owned, leased, or operated by the University. Also, the sale, distribution, and advertisement of, or sponsorship by tobacco products is prohibited anywhere on campus, at University-sponsored events, or in publications produced by the University. This policy applies to all persons on a Pepperdine University campus. Please note: California passed a law in 2016 raising the smoking age to 21; consequently, students under 21 are not permitted to smoke cigarettes, cigars, vape, e-cigarettes, hookah, and many other tobacco products. Pepperdine sponsored events with students under 21 should not involve smoking or use of any other tobacco products.
We at Pepperdine University acknowledge and respect the fact that certain individuals experience extreme difficulty in ceasing the habit of smoking. Consistent with our University mission and identity, we must avoid alienating community members, and treat those who smoke with respect, dignity, and care as we seek to implement and enforce this policy.
Increased subsidized cessation programs will be made available to faculty, staff, and students. The University encourages participation in these programs. For more information, employees should call Human Resources, and students should call their dean's office.
All members of the University community share in the responsibility of adhering to and enforcing this policy. The success of this policy depends upon the thoughtfulness, consideration, and cooperation of those who smoke and those who do not. Informational rather than punitive enforcement is the intent of this policy. However, repeated violations of the smoking policy, such as smoking in an area other than at a designated smoking location, may result in intervention by the Department of Public Safety, discipline by the supervisor in the case of an employee, or discipline by the applicable dean's office in the case of a student.