Smoking Policy

St. Olaf College agrees with the following wording from the American College Health Association (ACHA) and “acknowledges and supports the findings of the Surgeon General that tobacco use in any form, active and/or passive, is a significant health hazard … and further recognizes that environmental [i.e., second-hand] tobacco smoke has been classified as a Class-A carcinogen and that there is no safe level of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), a recognized toxic air contaminant.”

The College plans to be tobacco-free beginning September 1, 2021. The purpose of this St. Olaf College Smoking Policy, effective January 1, 2021, is to ensure a safe and healthy environment for faculty, staff, students, and visitors as we work toward that goal.  The Smoking Policy protects people from unwanted and involuntary exposure to tobacco and second-hand smoke, as well as creating a cleaner living, learning, and working environment. This includes smoke-free entrances to buildings and smoke-free outdoor public venues.

Policy Statements

  1. Interior Spaces: Smoking and vaping are not allowed in any building owned, leased, or rented by the College.
  2. Vehicles: Smoking and vaping are not allowed in any vehicle owned, leased, or rented by the College.
  3. Exterior Spaces: People who smoke are required to use the designated smoking locations throughout campus. View the areas on campus that are designated for smoking.
  4. Exceptions to this policy may be allowed by the Environmental Health and Safety department for ceremonial or other special purposes.
    • Exceptions may include peer-reviewed, approved scientific studies related to the health effects of smoking, sanctioned and formally approved by the College; or
    • Theatrical productions approved by the College and where actors and actresses are permitted to smoke as part of the theatrical performance. Notice of smoking in a performance must be given to patrons in advance and will be included in the performance programs.
  5. Distribution and advertisements of smoking, smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarette products on campus are prohibited.
  6. Compliance with this policy is a community effort.


Electronic Smoking Device

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.


The inhaling or exhaling of smoke from any lighted or heated cigar, cigarette, electronic smoking device, pipe, or any other lighted or heated tobacco or plant product.  Smoking also includes burning or carrying a lighted or heated cigar, cigarette, pipe, or any other lighted or heated tobacco or plant product intended for inhalation.


Tobacco or tobacco products mean any substance or item containing tobacco leaf, including but not limited to cigarettes; cigars; pipe tobacco; snuff; snus; fine cut or other chewing tobacco; cheroots; stogies; perique; granulated, plug cut, crimp cut, ready-rubbed, and other smoking tobacco; snuff flowers; cavendish; shorts; plug and twist tobaccos; dipping tobaccos; refuse scraps, clippings, cuttings, and sweepings of tobacco; and other kinds and forms of tobacco leaf prepared in such manner as to be suitable for chewing, sniffing, or smoking.  Tobacco and tobacco products also include any products containing, made, or derived from tobacco that is intended for human consumption, whether chewed, smoked, absorbed, dissolved, inhaled, snorted, sniffed, or ingested by any other means, or any component, part, or accessory of a tobacco product.  Tobacco excludes any tobacco product that has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for sale as a tobacco cessation product, as a tobacco dependence product, or for other medical purposes, and is being marketed and sold solely for such an approved purpose.

Tobacco Receptacle

Approved smoking receptacles are provided and placed at each designated smoking area. These receptacles are maintained by Facilities Management.


Effective implementation of this policy depends upon all members of the College community to observe this smoking policy; to monitor adherence to it at their level of involvement in the College community, and carry out their responsibility to inform all employees and students in their charge and all newly hired employees of this policy.


Enforcement of this policy will be “community-based” in which the entire campus community is responsible for asking smokers in violation to abide by the policy. Repeated violations of this policy will be handled, as applicable, through the Dean of Students Office, Human Resources, or the Office of the Provost and Dean of the College.


Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act (MCIAA)

Northfield Minnesota City Code, Chapter 30