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Policies and Procedures

8.10 Smoking


To implement Iowa’s Smokefree Air Act, enacted to reduce the level of exposure by the general public and employees to environmental tobacco smoke in order to improve the public health of Iowans.

Policy Statement:

The policy of the University of Northern Iowa is to provide a smoke free environment for its students, faculty, staff, administrators, visitors and the general public on campus.


Environmental tobacco smoke is recognized as a contributor to preventable death, behind active smoking and alcohol, and has been designated as a carcinogen (known to cause human cancer) by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Environmental tobacco smoke or involuntary smoking is a cause of disease, including lung cancer, in healthy nonsmokers. The simple separation of smokers and nonsmokers within the same air space may reduce, but not eliminate, the exposure of nonsmokers to environmental tobacco smoke; the EPA does not recognize a safe level of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.

The Smokefree Air Act was enacted in 2008, Iowa Code Chapter 142D and related provisions. The significance of the Act is that it establishes prohibitions for smoking in places of employment and on school grounds, including institutions governed by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa pursuant to Iowa Code section 262.7. The Iowa Department of Public Health has been designated the oversight authority.


A. University Owned or Leased Property

  1. Effective July 1, 2008, the University shall be a smoke-free campus. Smoking is prohibited on University owned or leased property including grounds, parking lots, athletic fields, recreation fields, tennis courts and any other outdoor area, including any vehicle located on the University’s property.
  2. Appropriate signs designated by the Iowa Department of Public Health shall be posted at all entrances to campus grounds.

B. University Owned Buildings and Leased Space

  1. Smoking shall be prohibited in any University-owned building including leased facilities. This prohibition shall apply to any area enclosed by the outermost walls of the building and will include atriums, balconies, stairwells and other similar building features.
  2. There shall be no ashtrays or similar receptacles in University-owned or leased buildings or other spaces where smoking is prohibited.
  3. Appropriate signs designated by the Iowa Department of Public Health shall be posted at all entrances to University-owned or leased buildings.

C. University Owned Passenger Vehicles and Moving Equipment

  1. Smoking shall be prohibited at all times in any University owned or leased vehicles or vehicles provided by the University.
  2. The smoking prohibition applies to passenger vehicles and all other state-owned mobile equipment to include light and heavy trucks, cargo and passenger vans, buses and any other applicable mobile equipment.
  3. Appropriate signs designated by the Iowa Department of Public Health shall be posted in every vehicle owned or leased by the University.

D. Complaints and Enforcement

  1. The Department of Public Health is responsible for maintaining a system for receiving and investigating complaints of non-compliance with the Smokefree Air Act.
  2. The Iowa Department of Public Health designates the law enforcement authorities of the state and for each political subdivision of the state, to assist with the enforcement of the Smokefree Air Act. A peace officer may issue a citation instead of arresting a violator of this Act and the violator shall pay a civil penalty (Iowa Code section 805.8C(3)) for each violation. The UNI Police Department is the designated law enforcement authority for the campus.
  3. Any person may register a complaint with the Iowa Department of Public Health by calling the toll-free number, 1-888-944-2247, or by registering a complaint on the IDPH web site or by downloading a complaint form from the IDPH web site.
  4. The UNI Human Resource Services Department will be responsible to inform all Professional & Scientific and Merit applicants and current employees in those classifications that University-owned and leased facilities and grounds are smoke-free environments. The Academic Affairs Office will be responsible to inform all applicants for Faculty positions and current members of the Academy that University-owned and leased facilities and grounds are smoke-free environments.
  5. Any person can inform another that the University is a smoke free environment and that smoking violates the Smokefree Air Act. If the individual refuses to stop smoking, a complaint can be filed against a violator with the University’s Police Department.

This policy is effective July 1, 2008, and supercedes all previous University smoking policies. The University’s contact for any question regarding this policy is the University Safety Officer, telephone (319) 273-3189 or email at Information can also be found on the Environmental Health and Safety web page.

President’s Cabinet Approved, 7/2008