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Campus Policies

Tobacco-Free Campus Policy


Bemidji State University is committed to providing students, employees and the public with a safe and healthy work environment, and to conforming with the intent of the Minnesota Clean Indoor Act, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities guidance and other relevant legislation. 

In light of findings of the U.S. Surgeon General that exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke and use of tobacco are significant health hazards, it is the intent of the University to establish a tobacco-free environment. Consequently, use, distribution, or sale of tobacco, including any smoking device, or carrying of any lighted smoking instrument, in university buildings or on university premises without exception, at events on university premises, or in university-owned, rented or leased vehicles, is prohibited. Free distribution of tobacco products on campus or at university sponsored events is also prohibited.

For the purpose of this policy, "tobacco" is defined to include any lighted cigarette, cigar, pipe, bidi, clove cigarette, electronic cigarettes and any other smoking product; and smokeless or spit tobacco, also known as dip, chew, snuff or snus, in any form.

“Smoking” is defined as inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying any lighted or heated cigar, cigarette, pipe, or any other lighted or heated tobacco or other product intended for inhalation, in any manner or in any form. Smoking also includes the use of an e-cigarette which creates a vapor, in any manner or any form, or the use of any oral device for the purpose of circumventing the prohibition of smoking in this Policy.

“E-cigarette” means any electronic oral device, such as one composed of a heating element, battery, and/or electronic circuit, which provides a vapor of nicotine or any other substances for inhalation. The term shall include any such device, whether manufactured, distributed, marketed, or sold as an e-cigarette, e-cigar, e-pipe, or under any other product name or descriptor, but does not include any product specifically approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in medical treatment, such as an asthma inhaler.

At this time, tobacco use in private vehicles is permitted as long as tobacco users demonstrate respect for individuals and the environment. Tobacco use or products for instructional purposes in laboratory and classroom instruction/experiments, or artistic purposes is permitted, but all research, educational, and/or artistic purposes that involve the use of tobacco on campus, must be approved by the President or his/her designee, and such use must be preceded by reasonable advance notice to the public. This policy does not prohibit participation in a university-sanctioned American Indian spiritual or cultural ceremony held on campus.


Enforcement of this policy will depend upon the cooperation of all faculty, staff and students as well as campus visitors not only to ensure that Bemidji State University is truly tobacco-free but also to help and encourage others to comply with the policy. The university will develop training programs to assist and prepare students and employees to help one another honor the tobacco-free environment that this policy supports.

In the event of a violation, the person will be informed of the Bemidji State University Tobacco-Free Campus Policy. Should that person continue to violate the policy, a report should be made to the appropriate office; in the case of an employee, to that person's supervisor; in the case of student, to the University Conduct Officer; in the case of a visitor, to BSU Public Safety. Individuals may use a Tobacco Complaint/Grievance form; in the case of reporting an employee, the form should be sent to Human Resources (who will forward it to the appropriate supervisor); in the case of a student, the form should be sent to the University Conduct Officer. Employees who violate the policy shall be subject to discipline in accordance with the appropriate bargaining agreement. Students who violate the policy will be reviewed through the student judicial process and subject to discipline in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.

The University's Tobacco Free Campus website provides more information.