Section 1. Rationale

Smoking is the single most preventable cause of death, disease and disability in the United States. The U.S. Surgeon General confirms that exposure to secondhand smoke is a serious health hazard and there is no safe level of exposure. As a health care provider, [organization name] is committed to providing a healthy and safe environment for employees, patients, and visitors and to promote positive, healthy behaviors.

The policy set forth below is effective [date] for [organization name and location].

Section 2. Definitions

A. “Electronic Smoking Device” means any product containing or delivering nicotine or any other substance intended for human consumption that can be used by a person in any manner for the purpose of inhaling vapor or aerosol from the product. The term includes any such device, whether manufactured, distributed, marketed, or sold as an e-cigarette, e-cigar, e-pipe, e-hookah, or vape pen, or under any other product name or descriptor.

B. “Smoking” means inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying any lighted or heated cigar, cigarette, pipe, hookah, or any other lighted or heated tobacco or plant product intended for inhalation, including marijuana/cannabis, whether natural or synthetic, in any manner or in any form. “Smoking” also includes the use of an electronic smoking device which creates an aerosol or vapor, in any manner or in any form, or the use of any oral smoking device for the purpose of circumventing the prohibition of smoking in this Article.

C. “Tobacco Product” means any substance containing tobacco leaf, including but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, hookah tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco, dipping tobacco, bidis, blunts, clove cigarettes, or any other preparation of tobacco; and any product or formulation of matter containing biologically active amounts of nicotine that is manufactured, sold, offered for sale, or otherwise distributed with the expectation that the product or matter will be introduced into the human body by inhalation, ingestion, or absorption; but does not include any cessation product specifically approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in treating nicotine or tobacco dependence.

Section 3. Tobacco-Free Environment

All [organization name] buildings and grounds are 100% tobacco-free at all times, without exception. The use of tobacco products (including, but not limited to, cigarettes, pipes, cigars, hookah, snuff, chew, dissolvable tobacco or spit tobacco) or electronic smoking devices (including electronic cigarettes) or marijuana/cannabis smoking is not permitted by anyone on property owned or leased by [organization name]. This policy is applicable to all staff on the [organization name] campus whether they are employees of [organization name] or other agencies, patients, visitors, students, volunteers, vendors, lessees and contractors. The use of tobacco products, electronic smoking devices, and/or marijuana smoking is prohibited on or in parking lots; [organization name] owned or leased vehicles, and any personal vehicles on the property.

Section 4. Policy Communication

Signs stating the tobacco-free policy in all needed languages will be clearly posted on the perimeter of the property, at all entrances, and other prominent places. No ashtrays or other collection receptacles for tobacco trash will be placed on the property. The policy information will be clearly posted on [organization name] website.

Section 5. Applicability

A. Employees, Volunteers, Physicians, Students, and Contract Workers

1. [Organization name] employees and other employees who work on the [name] campus will be advised of the provisions of this policy during New Employee Orientation. The policy will be provided in writing to all employees.

2. [Organization name] will post this policy in employee common areas and in the [name] Employee Handbook.

3. Job announcements for all positions on the [organization name] campus will display a notice that [organization name] has a tobacco-free (including electronic smoking devices and marijuana smoking) work environment policy.

4. Employees are prohibited from smoking or using other tobacco products during any part of their paid work shift, including breaks. The use of prohibited nicotine products is also not permitted while staff are in uniform or while displaying facility ID badges. If leaving the premise for meals or breaks, employees must follow this policy. [Organization] employees are encouraged and expected to be good neighbors and refrain from using tobacco products on the property of nearby businesses and residences.

5. The odor of marijuana or tobacco smoke (or aerosol from electronic cigarettes) on breath or clothing, the appearance of spit tobacco use (out pouching of lower lip/tobacco remnants in teeth) or thirdhand smoke is prohibited in all areas.

6. Employees who use tobacco are encouraged to use the tobacco cessation resources listed below.

B. Clients or Patients (including inpatients, outpatients, and residents)

1. Patients/clients are prohibited from smoking or using tobacco or marijuana on campus. The use of tobacco, electronic smoking devices, or smoking marijuana will not be permitted under any circumstances.

2. At the time of admission or registration, patients will be given information regarding the tobacco-free policy. Patients’ tobacco items will be placed in a secure location until dismissal.

3. All patients admitted to [organization name] will be assessed for history of tobacco use and the need for interventions related to tobacco addiction including nicotine replacement therapy and cessation education. Additional remedies are the responsibility of the treatment team responsible for the safety and well-being of the patient/client. Tobacco cessation materials will be given to the patient/client and their physician may be contacted to request smoking-cessation products.

C. Visitors

1. Visitors are prohibited from smoking tobacco or marijuana or using tobacco or electronic smoking devices on campus. The use of tobacco or electronic smoking devices or smoking of marijuana will not be permitted under any circumstances.

2. Visitors who use tobacco are encouraged to use the tobacco cessation resources listed below.

D. Outside Groups

Outside groups who use [organization name] facilities for meetings will be advised of this policy. Violation of the policy will result in the rescinding of approval for the group to meet on this campus.

Section 6. Enforcement

A. Enforcement of this policy is the shared responsibility of all [organization name and location] personnel. All employees are authorized and encouraged to communicate this policy with courtesy, respect and diplomacy, especially with regard to patients and visitors. If difficulties arise with compliance of this policy, security will be notified.

B. Employees, Volunteers, Physicians, Students, and Contract Workers

Employees who violate this policy are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. The supervisor, or managing personnel, will document incidents of smoking, tobacco use, marijuana smoking electronic smoking device use and/or smoke odor by employees for disciplinary action.

C. Clients or Patients (including inpatients, outpatients, and residents)

Employees who encounter patient/clients in violation of the tobacco-free policy are encouraged to politely explain the policy, ask the person to quit using the tobacco, electronic smoking device or product and report the violation to the patient’s treatment team. If the use of tobacco products or smoking marijuana continues after the first verbal reminder, management and security may be contacted for additional assistance to reinforce the policy.

D. Visitors

Employees who encounter a visitor in violation of the tobacco-free policy are encouraged to politely explain the policy to the visitor and ask the person to quit using the tobacco or marijuana product. Visitors who become agitated or unruly or repeatedly refuse to comply when informed of the tobacco-free campus policy may be reported to [name of appropriate department or personnel]. [The identified personnel] will respond to the situation as appropriate, according to their professional judgment and need to maintain a safe environment.

Section 7. Sale and Promotion of Tobacco Products

[Organization name] will not sell or allow to be sold any tobacco products on property grounds. [Organization name] prohibits the advertising or promotion of any tobacco product on [organization’s] property.

Section 8. Tobacco Cessation Opportunities

[Organization name] encourages all employees who use tobacco to quit. The [insert the company department or worksite wellness program] offers [insert cessation benefits/assistance] for employees who want to quit smoking or spit tobacco. Tobacco cessation information is also available from the CDC Quitline toll-free number 1-800-QUIT-NOW, or from [insert your state’s quitline number and website; find this information by visiting the North American Quitline Consortium’s website and click on your state].

Tobacco cessation assistance and nicotine replacement products are available to all patients. The treatment team responsible for the safety and well-being of the patient/client can assist in requesting the desired cessation services.

Visitors who wish to quit tobacco use are encouraged to contact the quitline in their state for support by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW. Information to access quitline resources will be posted within the facility. Tobacco cessation products are available for purchase for employees and visitors from the [organization name] pharmacy located ______________.

Section 9. Traditional Tobacco Use

In respect for the traditional tobacco use of American Indians, traditional tobacco used in the practice of cultural or religious activities will be the exclusive exception to this policy. Use of traditional tobacco for ceremonial purposes is permitted and must be approved in advance by the [designated individual or department] prior to use.

Section 10. Questions

This policy will be maintained by [company department/union representative]. Any questions regarding the tobacco-free policy should be directed to [company department, including phone number(s) for handling inquiries].

This Policy shall be effective on _______ [Date]______

Signature of [Chief Administrator or similar]


This Tobacco-Free Policy was last updated on ____[Date] ____.

*This policy was developed in part from a South Dakota Department of Health Model Health Care Systems Policy.

May be reprinted with appropriate credit to the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation.
Copyright 2021 American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation. All rights reserved.